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It is in fact nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry.
– Albert Einstein
The 86th Amendment act, 2002 in the constitution inserted Article 21- A in the constitution of India to provide free and compulsory education of all children in the age group of six to fourteen years as fundamental learning. While this is a heartening step and ensures that the right to education is ensured for every child in a formal school, we need to think are we giving our children the right education.
Currently, the education system followed in formal schools is rote-based learning. Education is an act of depositing where the teacher deposits information, not knowledge to the students and the child receives, stores and files the deposits made by the teacher and effectively puts it on the answer sheets during the exam. In this process and teacher and the student, both are missing out on the learning because the focus is to attain marks. Therefore, making mistakes are not only frowned upon and the child memorises the concepts without understanding them to get the marks.
If we analyse, at the best students are becoming cataloguers in this education system where they neatly file the deposits made by the teacher, but in the process of cataloguing the information, they compromise their creativity and the spirit of inquiry.
Naturally, this education system is not benefitting the children in assimilating the knowledge and probably answers the question why India lacks inventors? For knowledge to emerge children have to inculcate a spirit of inquiry where they ask and experiment with the concepts themselves to arrive at the values.
The right to education when coupled with the right educational practices will make a difference in the mindset of the children and build the foundation for an approach to an education where learning is a lifelong process.
The necessary elements in the right education: ‐
1. Learning by rote gets replaced with learning by doing –
The student should use critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Learning by doing will allow the child to play around with the concepts and the understanding acquired through the first-hand experience is going to last a lifetime. When we learn by memorising without understanding the principles behind it, the knowledge is shallow. It may help us get the marks in the exams but in the long run, we will not retain the knowledge.
2. Improved engagement level calls for improved ROI for the students and the teachers –
Every child wants to score good marks in the exams. No one leaves the answers deliberately. Yet, concepts of Physics and Maths become tricky for children, particularly in the senior classes. Education is a cumulative process. What children learn in the senior years doesn’t come in a vacuum. The base for that has been built int he junior classes. More often than not the students memorise the concepts which mean they do not engage with it. It is like knowing the recipe of any dish by rote but until we make the dish, we can’t be certain about it. Similarly, there is a need for the child to engage with the concepts of Maths and Science and when they do it through Maths lab and the do-it-yourself kits the child is able to breakdown the complicated concepts and know the workings of the why’s and how’s behind it.
3. Play in education helps children with creative learning –
As children move through classes, their spontaneous creativity can get shackled while memorising the concepts. However, if learning has to be fun and memorable we should encourage students to question and develop their own ideas.
All it needs to inculcate play in education to help children blossom their creative freedom
The learning acquired through this way will stay with the child for a lifetime. At YouDo, we have a wide range of educational kits that can help with learning concepts of Maths and Science and are fun to learn at the same time.