Many scholars try to glorify the progress of the education sector in India on the basis of numbers. They never mention that the education system is derelict and lacks both quality and efficiency.
Enhancing quality instead of quantity is the need of the hour in the education sector. The inclusion of new topics in syllabus and vividness in teaching are imperative for enhancing quality education. You can’t have quality education without a holistic approach (V. Prakash Mishra). The right to education is good, but what India needs is the right to quality education (ibid). There was a time when Allahabad University was known as the Oxford of the East, Delhi University was renowned for its classicism, and JNU for its progressive values. The commercialisation of education has given us a generation of semi-literate teachers and youngsters instead of well-trained professionals. The real characteristics of educational development are almost missing, talent and efficacy are neglected, and students are compelled for rote learning rather than truly understanding a topic.
A separate Indian education services cadre, within the civil services, should be created. New resources and techniques like CTS, CIA, virtual learning, etc, need to be implemented. Through regular evaluations we can assess the progress of learning. There should be a student progress tracking system which will also provide data to analyse and design better curriculum and pedagogy.
We need to shift towards blended learning, which includes innovations like flipped classroom, virtual training, and rotational learning. These provide flexibility in learning for both students and teachers. They also consist of diverse teaching methods. The merger of conventional classroom education and computer-based or online learning is considered to be the essence of blended learning. Instructor and learners maintain connections beyond official class time (S. Rashid).
Online learning can be a tool for learning during emergencies also, but can’t be effective in totality because of inherent technology glitches. Unlike in brick-and-mortar schools, students are not under supervision of a teacher in online classes. Also, students will surely miss out on face-to-face interactions. Classroom discussion and personal interaction will also suffer, which is very important for the socialisation of students. Virtual learning won’t prepare the students to face the challenges of mundane life. The genuineness of a particular student’s work is also a problem as online just about anyone can do a project rather than the actual student itself. However, online teaching is useful in many ways and should be embraced wherever it is useful. It can also be used to provide training to teachers to make them adept at using virtual tools and to build their capacity to teach online when needed.
The writer is Executive Officer, DPL, Anantnag