De-grading learning

We need to move away from the marks-based education framework and implement changes that will benefit students and the overall system

December 24, 2021 02:10 pm | Updated 06:10 pm IST

The implementation of a few changes can help overhaul the system and benefit all the students.

The implementation of a few changes can help overhaul the system and benefit all the students.

The pandemic has forced a transition of the established norm in many fields through work from home, e-learning, virtual exams, and so on. For any educated Indian, the next biggest challenge should be implementation of a grading system that focuses on holistic development of all students rather than honouring a select few who manage to achieve inexplicably high grades. Not only does this demotivate the majority, but also creates a lop-sided one-size-fits-all approach. The implementation of a few changes can help overhaul the system and benefit all the students.

Experiential learning (EL): The main goal is to develop the students’ problem-solving and decision-making skills from a young age. Devising a curriculum with real-world experiences offers a hands-on learning experience. The core strength of EL is its ability to extract active participation from every student, which in turn triggers their emotional intelligence and sets them on a path to self-learning. Such learning then becomes continuous. Business Schools are increasingly encouraging group-discussions and corporate role-playing exercises monitored by senior professionals to help students to gain practical skills.

Language learning: Recently, a high-school counsellor complained how students avoid taking up language courses due to their ‘inconsequential’ effect on the overall board results. While the benefits of language learning are not as apparent as that of Maths or Science, from a long-term perspective, an additional language can give one an edge. This is why students from regions that boast of multiple languages have an upper hand within the global professional set-up.

National Education Policy: The implementation of the NEP can help shake the education system from its slumber. It involves phasing out the system of affiliate colleges and offering the autonomous degree-granting colleges the freedom to design and deliver 21st century skills. Moving away from the current 10+2 system to a 5+3+3+4 system will bring the pre-school age group formally into the education set-up. Re-establishing the importance of early learning through home language or mother tongue as medium of instruction is bound to influence critical thinking, develop a sense of cultural pride, bring local languages back in reckoning, and influence a students’ openness to learn new languages. Inviting international universities to set-up campuses in India is another step to expedite delivery of quality education. One of the most overlooked aspect of setting-up educational institutions is the positive impact it has on the region as a whole, especially by increasing employment prospects.

The speed of implementation and ability to evolve constantly will determine the success or failure in this decade.

The writer is Country Manager at EDHEC Business School, France

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