Teaching in India is at crossroads. On one hand, there is Internet, which provides abundant information. On the other, we have teachers who are not trained enough to use that information. It’s time teachers go from playing the role of knowledge provider to being a facilitator. That transition, however, has not been made yet.
Children once learnt from chalk and board. Teachers would impart knowledge in classroom and students would grasp it. That doesn’t happen any more. Children already know a lot of things when they enter the classroom. So teachers now need to become their guide and help them navigate through all the information which is easily available. Students can learn about leadership, values and academics on their own. They are also exposed to television, cinema and other forms of media like never before.
So teachers should also be exposed to new ways of education being followed in different parts of the world today. Our own system is quite archaic. It does not offer sufficient in-service training to teachers to keep pace with the advances in education and the society. For instance, there is so much research happening on how the brain works. That can be used in the classroom. But people look at me as if I am talking about something strange when I broach this topic.
There is a Mofet Academy in Israel where teachers can go for training for say, six weeks, while in service. There is no such opportunity for teachers in India. I had received my BEd degree in 1976. With no in-service training, I would have still been stuck in 1976 while the world moved on. Also, our curriculum and its delivery do not excite a child’s mind to discover and innovate.
Continuous and Compreh-ensive Evaluation (CCE) is a brilliant concept but its implementation has failed dismally. Unfortunately, most of our teachers and principals have not understood it. There are thousands of teachers in different towns and villages of India. Have we reached out to them? How will we seize India’s demographic dividend unless we equip our teachers?
Gowri Ishwaran is the Founder principal, Sanskriti School, a Padmashree Awardee and CEO, The Global Education & Leadership Foundation
As told to Neha Pushkarna