Total Revamp Needed

Total Revamp Needed
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In a decision aimed at easing the burden of examination workload on students and to complete courses on time, Kashmir University is rearranging the examination pattern at the undergrad level by introducing Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) based question papers for even semesters. In some senses, this is a welcome step. Indubitably, it will ease the burden on students and there will be allied benefits too. But, in the final analysis, it is in the nature of a half step. The reference here is to the nature of the education system here, delivery and pedagogical methods and examination thereof. All these components of the educational pipeline are dated and passé. These hark back to an era which does not speak to the modern conditions and the nature of education thereof. The thrust of our education system is premised on rote learning and attainment of high marks or grades. In the process, what is sacrificed is learning, knowledge and understanding. Rote learning, in this day and age, is not even insufficient; it does not suffice and is not needed. The requirements of the modern day age are such that there is a premium on skills and understanding of disciplines, domains, issues and themes. This calls for a novel and radical approach to education and its delivery. ( It would be novel in our context and not by the standards of the developed world or even parts of the developing world). The nature of the approach should focus and emphasize on critical thinking, skill development and enhancing of the cognitive functions. What this, in turn requires, is a different and a path breaking pedagogical approach that enhances these attributes of education, its delivery and testing. The entire value chain of education in Kashmir needs to and must be first, disrupted and then reoriented toward modern lines wherein the emphasis would, to repeat, be on critical thinking and skill development. Generally speaking, we live in and inhabit a world where disruption and creative destruction are key words and concepts. In this world, where technological frontiers are broken and surpassed by the day , obsolete methods of teaching, pedagogy and testing will only serve to push back our students and even make them redundant in a hypercompetitive world. It is therefore incumbent upon institutions of higher learning to upend the paradigms of education they are used to and develop new ones that equip students to not only deal with the needs and requirements of the contemporary world but also take it head on!