Yes, it's a never before and never will be opportunity,
What is it, you ask?
I get to revamp, or redesign the old school system in India, straight from the base.
Being a teacher, I'm being asked to redesign the entire academic build-up being followed in our country...
Well, I wouldn't want to take on such a magnanimous task all by myself, would I?
So, I've turned this into a collaborative post. So, I am not the only one authoring this.
My blogger - friends and team mates at Project 365 are there with me too... :)
I will get to my idea of what needs to be redone in our academic structure, towards the end of the post.
First, I am handing over this space to Salesh, Yamini and Rekha...
Salesh Dipak Fernando, who blogs at 'Scribblings', has the following to say:
I agree."I was a special kid when I started out and hence needed individual attention. Every child is different. You can’t ask a fish to climb a tree. It would be absurd and stupid. Tweak the education system. Let be an environment where a child can nurture his unique abilities. Give the child the freedom to choose. Do away with the herd mentality."
It reminds me of this:
Also, Albert Einstein.
Our education system lacks, and lacks a lot on this front. We need to focus on the concept of 'inclusive education', and not just focus. Serious and feasible implementations need to be enforced, so that the children with special needs are treated as equals, in every sense of the word.
I'm again reminded of this:
Yamini Vijendran, who blogs at 'Straight From The Heart', had this to opine:
"I would like schools that would provide only the tools, and encourage children to explore and gain knowledge by themselves. The teachers will only give a push whenever needed, in the right direction. You should also take a look at this and other talks by Sugata Mitra. Read about his 'Hole in the Wall' experiment - It'll change the way one perceives education."
Again, the concept of rote-learning and minimal practical exploration on the academic front, vexes me too.
The pressure of memorization, rather than learning and understanding the concept, must be done away with. Students must be able to inculcate a solid ground for exploration, and explanation of a concept by expression, within themselves.
Calvin comes to the rescue...
"Onstage at TED2013, Sugata Mitra makes his bold TED Prize wish: Help me design the School in the Cloud, a learning lab in India, where children can explore and learn from each other — using resources and mentoring from the cloud."
For the ones who don't know of the Hole In The Wall experiment, this is it.
"In 1999, the Hole in the Wall (HIW) experiment in children's learning, was first conducted. In the initial experiment, a computer was placed in a kiosk in a wall in a slum at Kalkaji, Delhi and children were allowed to use it freely.
The experiment aimed at proving that children could be taught by computers very easily without any formal training. Mitra termed this Minimally Invasive Education (MIE). The experiment has since been repeated in many places; HIW has more than 23 kiosks in rural India. In 2004 the experiment was carried out in Cambodia.
This work demonstrated that groups of children, irrespective of who or where they are, can learn to use computers and the Internet on their own with public computers in open spaces such as roads and playgrounds, even without knowing English. Mitra's publication was judged the best open access publication in the world for 2005 and he was awarded the Dewang Mehta Award for innovation in IT that year.
The Hole in the Wall experiment left a mark on popular culture. Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup read about Mitra's experiment and was inspired to write his debut novel Q & A, which later became the movie Slumdog Millionaire."
Rekha Nair Dhyani who blogs at 'Dew Drops', stated this:
"I had the good fortune of working with Sugata Mitra on his book in this Hole In The Wall experiment. It was indeed a breakthrough experiment. Touch and Feel, Do and Learn."
This post is a part of the WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts program where the aim is to post at least one post a day based on the day's prompt.
December is the month when I officially Guest Author for Project 365, in partnership with Jaibala and Vinay, for our respective Guest Authoring Prompts, chosen beforehand.