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Re-imagining education in an India at 100

  • IASbaba
  • October 6, 2020
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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EDUCATION/ GOVERNANCE

Topic: General Studies 2, 3:

  • Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Education, Human Resources 
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Re-imagining education in an India at 100

Context: There is a need to explore the contours of national education practices leading to 2047 when politically independent India becomes 100 years old.

From a teacher’s perspective, the next education practices can be viewed through the following five design principles.

  1. Autonomy: To Excel is the key
  • The greatest insurance for autonomy is excellence in students’ outcomes rather than a piece of legislation. 
  • As long as institutions continue to excel, they will earn their autonomy through social, community and citizens’ sanctions. Legislation may help. 
  • In practice, autonomy cannot be defined by entitlement nor limited by unlawful encroachment. 
  • By 2047, autonomy has to be imbibed as an institutional culture rather than a personal perquisite of a vice chancellor, principal or a director. 
  • There needs to be autonomy in teaching methods, autonomy of the learner in creating her own curriculum, autonomy of thought and self-governance — Swayttata.
  1. Learning: Technology Rich Settings
  •  In 2047, six billion people in the world would constitute the middle class. With little money but with enormous hunger for learning, they will define the learner base for a networked global university system. 
  • Technology will proliferate intelligence from hardware to software to everywhere. 
  • Teachers will evolve from ring masters to zen masters, raising awareness rather than delivering content
  • The four core tasks of the university: creation; dissemination; accreditation and monetisation of knowledge will require a sweet synthesis of algorithm and altruism. 
  • Learning will involve mobilisation of knowledge for a specific person; is a specific context to face specific challenges or problems. 
  • In the ultimate analysis, learning will be about propagation of crucial questions rather than pre-determined answers. Pressure of performance will have to co-exist with the pleasure and ecstasy of learning — ananda.
  1. Trans-disciplinarity: Coherence across fields
  •  The new National Education Policy (NEP) roots for multi-disciplinary institutions rather than standalone schools. Multidisciplinarity involves experts from different disciplines working together, each drawing on their unique disciplinary knowledge.
  • However, by 2047, trans-disciplinarity rather than multi-disciplinarity will be the norm. Transdisciplinarity is about creating a coherence of intellectual frameworks beyond the disciplinary perspectives. 
  • Knowledge in 2047 will move from discipline-based units to the unity of meaning and understanding. 
  • The reductionist knowledge of the West that explains the whole as the sum of parts will yield space to the quest for the part less whole that the rishis of the Upanishads described as purnatwa.
  1. Technology-Innovation: School as connecting hub
  • Technology-led innovation will take learning from cognition to immersion. 
  • Traditionally, students of professional courses learnt through field and factory visits. Today, it is possible for a factory experience to be simulated in a classroom
  •  In 2047, school will not be a brick and mortar house but a connecting hub that will digitally decode, deliver and disperse knowledge. 
  • Disruptive innovation will enable technology to give greater access to hitherto exclusive knowledge and fulfil unmet learner needs.
  •  Technology will not be a cosmetic add-on but serve a strategic purpose. Leading schools of the world will harness talent and technology seamlessly.
  1. Values, mindset and culture: Nurturing minds with values
  • By 2047, Indian teachers will be engaged in nurturing global mindsets based on three classical values of India: satyam(authenticity), nityam (sustainability) and purnam (wholeness).
  • Mindsets will be based on how learners receive information and not what information they receive; on how to think rather than what to think. 
  • Education is finally about creating and sustaining wholesome cultures rather than serving the templates of outmoded civilisations.
  • The most valuable outcome of education is the becoming of a competent and compassionate human being. 

Conclusion

In 2047, a teacher’s role, based on five principles, will be to oversee the transformative re-birth of citizens

Connecting the dots:

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