Educational institutions should be a space to learn, train and prepare people for the life they imagine.
Admission and entrance exams have always terrified parents and children in India, even the most hard-working and conscientious. These exams define social mobility by determining access to elite universities and the peer groups and job profiles that open as a result. There have always been ecosystems of schools and coaches that have benefited and contributed to the system, but they remain the bastion of the few. Although the rise of educational technology has allowed access to a larger population, they continue to propagate a limited vision of what our students who graduate from school deserve. But some key changes will benefit both the system and the students.
Focus on capabilities: Our educational institutions must move away from a disproportionate focus on knowledge acquisition to prepare students for problem solving, critical and analytical thinking, drawing insights from data, and synthesizing perspectives.
Mixed approach: By moving away from a teacher-led approach in the classroom to a combination of assisted learning, school support systems outside of the classroom, and continuing the journey of learning at home, educators must redraw the boundaries of their institutions so that they can operate in both physical and virtual environments with a focus on holistic student outcomes.
Personalized learning: All students in a class will not have the same ability or orientation to learn. Therefore, content delivered in a unique way does not fit with each child’s unique story or relationship to learning. Educational institutions can use data to personalize learning and enable each child to reach their true potential.
Multidisciplinary competence: Imagine creating an entire cohort of engineers who can understand the moral and ethical expressions of your technology or strong business leaders who can focus on people or media leaders who can combine understanding of the news with technology and political discourse. And social. What we really need is to break down the silos of the “subject groups” in the upper classes and allow the student to have a real choice to design his career path and life plan.
It is not enough if these steps are taken in elite institutions. This should be done by every educator who engages with students in India. Educational institutions are not meant to be precision workshops anchored in an event of great importance, such as the meeting or the entrance exam. They should be a space to learn, train and prepare people for the life they imagine. This freedom to learn is currently the bastion of the few. It is time to democratize access to true learning.
The writer is the co-founder and CEO of LEAD School..