Learning is not a one-step process and the child of tomorrow needs to be prepared differently.

It could be by grooming teachers, developing an attitude towards learning, creating goodwill among schools and functionaries, building public-private partnership, combining sound principles of the past and opportunities of the present or one could devise one’s best practice.

These and many more interesting insights were emphasised by speakers at the XSEED conference on quality schools, ‘School of Tomorrow’, here on Wednesday. The conference focussed on improving quality of school education in India.

M. Anandakrishnan, Chairman, Board of Governors, IIT Kanpur, said the objective of learning should be to attract a child to the classroom and learning must be linked to the aptitude of the child.

The panel discussion on responsibilities of corporates focused on what more can the industry do in grooming the younger generation with experimental knowledge.

Can there be deeper interaction between students and corporates for hands on experience? Can summer training be made more useful?

Explaining that students of tomorrow need to be global citizens with greater awareness and confidence, Vinita Bali, CEO, Britannia, said corporates do have a role to play, but they cannot bring about changes.

The ‘adopt-a-school’ programme was also launched on the occasion, where iDiscoveri hopes to improve the teaching and learning process by mobilising private sectors and individuals to support less-privileged schools.

Rajendra Pawar, Chairman, NIIT, spoke via video conference on how learning for life can be created. “We need to take children out of the books. Let introspection be used as a tool and also get connected using technology,” he said.

The panel discussing responsibilities of governmental institutions said that greater autonomy, public-private partnership for assessment - be it through curriculum support material, providing competition with private schools and political will can improve government schools.

Nobody could disagree with the suggestion that came from M.S. Ananth, Director IIT Madras, that character formation is what matters most for the next generation, in which even teachers and parents have a role. The panel discussions and talks were interspersed with audience participation.


Liffy ThomasJune 28, 2012