India needs to have a comprehensive relook at its education sector to prepare its youth which comprise over 50 per cent of the 1.3 billion population for the future, educationists and experts have suggested. Speaking at the sixth Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) in Dubai, the experts called for a shift in the policy to meet the challenges of the changing times.
“A relook at the Indian education sector is inevitable given that the current system was developed in the pre-Independence era for just five per cent of the population and that too for clerical roles, with no room for creativity or promoting social reorganisation,” said Aditya Nataraj, Founder director Kaivalya Education Foundation, a social change organisation working in the field of education.
He suggested a shift from a system of “monitoring, inspection and suspension” to one that “enables, empowers and inspires” young people. Kavita Sanghvi, Principal MET Rishikul Vidyalaya, said the biggest challenge before policymakers was to bring on par all three tiers of schools – state boards, national and international education providers.
She also called for stronger synergies between industry and educational providers. Bikkrama Singh, Associate Director of policy think tank Central Square Foundation, called for big bang reforms that include establishing rigorous sample-based assessment of the children and their skills.
He asserted that children were ill-prepared for school, with the learning gap progressively surfacing as they move to secondary and senior secondary levels. Shaheen Mistri, CEO of non-profit organisation Teach for India called for inclusion of ‘love’ factor, saying it was central to revolutionising the sector.
“This includes a five-step approach of creating safe spaces for voices, promoting the spirit of partnership between educators and kids, view children as change-makers of today, driving regional and national dialogue on equity in education, and encouraging experiments in reimagining education,” Mistri said.