Focus: GS-II Social Justice

Introduction

While the pandemic has created an unprecedented challenge for humanity, it also offers a unique opportunity to re-imagine our schools and transform schools from being a mere implementer of directions from the directorate or district headquarters to having a central role in our society.

Way forwards: Route to transformation of schools

  • In being mindful of ensuring access with equity for all children, students of secondary grades should not be prioritised over primary-grade children.
  • Focus should be building foundational learning skills instead of just completing the remaining syllabus.
  • For secondary and senior secondary grades National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) can be asked to modify the syllabus to gain more depth in learning and understanding rather than spreading the curriculum far and wide.
  • CBSE can move away from the one-time high-stakes exam of class 10 and 12 towards a model of continuous evaluation and anytime exam.

Teachers transformation

Focus can be on International level training with exposure to innovative practices and also on research so that new techniques of teaching-learning can be understood and implemented at the school level.

Overview of Education System in India

  • The school system in India has four levels: lower primary (age 6 to 10), upper primary (11 and 12), high (13 to 15) and higher secondary (17 and 18). The lower primary school is divided into five “standards”, upper primary school into two, high school into three and higher secondary into two.
  • There are mainly three streams in school education in India: Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and the State Boards of each of the states.
  • Students throughout the country have to learn three languages (namely, English, Hindi and their mother tongue) except in regions where Hindi is the mother tongue.

Provisions in the Indian Constitution related to Education

  • Article 21A was introduced by the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2002, making elementary education a fundamental right rather than a directive principle.
  • Article 45 was amended to provide for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years.
  • To implement Article 21A, the government legislated the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education RTE Act.

-Source: Hindustan Times

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