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RNI No. UTTENG/2010/37634 Vol 6 No 10 magazine THE INDIA EDUCATION LANDSCAPE UPDATE September 16 2015 Towards a New Education Policy Framework India sue s I ial c e Sp TEACHER MATTERS


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Contents SPECIALS 4 Editorial 'Rampant' media illiteracy among educationists, education industry 15 Cover Story India towards a New Education Policy Framework Going by the public utterances of the MHRD, India will have a new national policy on education by the end of this year. Though there is hardly any clue as to how the ongoing consultations at 'various levels' are being processed and ultimately how the new policy will be put to 'vote' for approval, there is still time left to infuse ideas and contribute for aligning the new policy to a vision of prosperous and vibrant India. 5 Spotlight 1 (Teachers Issues) Teacher Crisis: Will anybody acknowledge it as an Emergency? 18-19 Inspiring/Interview STIR Teacher Empowerment Model 22 Spotlight 2 (Technology in Education) Colonization of the young minds; in whose interest? SPECIAL COLUMNS 9, 20 9-10 RECLAIMING LEARNING: thoughts on Teachers Day------------Prof MM Pant 11-12 TEACHER BY CHOICE: tending towards a promising profession.....Saloni Gupta 12 How Distance Education Teachers can Stay Relevant in this exciting era.....Dr N Venkateshwarlu 13 Flawed Understanding Adding up Challenges ..........Salony Priya 14 Classrooms of The Future....G.Balasubramanian 20 Extending learning beyond the walls of a classroom........Mona Singh 21 CHILDREN BELOW 6: Not only main stream education, but a separate ministry for them as well.......Swati Popat Vats 23 Digital Citizenship & Internet Maturity, A critical life skill for EVERY student!..............Raghu Pandey 24 M-learning poised to change the education scenario in the country....Prof Sanjay Purohit 6-8, 25-26 NEWS Catch 22 like situation on 'No detention Policy’ 3rd Edition of Pearson Voice of Teacher Survey Sports Sector Skill Council being constituted India & Australia to cooperate in Education, Training and Research IET India launches Faraday India Programme Pilot in 10 schools Haryana launches Learning Enhancement Programme in over 3,200 primary schools REGULARS 27-29 Campus Buzz 30-31 News Updates 2 Curriculum September 16 2015


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Editor's Note Volume 6, Number 10 BEGIN THIS NOTE WITH A SENSE OF DISAPPOINTMENT because the level of enthusiasm and excitement at which we began to work on this special edition a couple of months ago, came to a nadir in the end. We had started off onto this effort because of some compelling ground realities. The opportunity that the making of the new national policy on education offers to talk about some of those harsh truths and collecting and disseminating ideas on what national education agenda should be, was at the back of our thought process, and the resultant enthusiasm. And we banked upon a class of educationists, who were decorated officially because they did some innovations that earned them that recognition. We reached to several of them in almost every part of country, but all of them choose not to get into the 'muddy waters'. There are a few facts that the powerful people everywhere must understand fully. India's economy, her prosperity, her ambition of being a superpower rests on one major premise—its human resource. The fact that India is a youthful country gives it all the advantages in contemporary world. This is the resource, which has to be made bankable. And, therefore, the enormity of responsibility on our education system is for everybody to comprehend. A few hundred schools in the country pampered by commercial interests have camouflaged the whole schooling environment and aspirations of man on street get killed every day. Can our political leadership rise to the occasion and free nation's resources that go into school education by laboring parents, who are leading depressed and compromised lives? Can't we move towards a robust public school system? A doubling of GDP spending on education by the state can achieve this. One more reason for us to take out this edition was the flawed approach that government has taken to consultation process on the new education policy in making. It has not only killed the standard policy making process, it has also played a mechanism to bypass all expert opinion. The design of the consultation questions is like a commercial survey questionnaire, where one wants to determine if certain products or services can be marketed. Education has turned into a market place. It may benefit a few, but in the long run it can destroy the originality and quest of questioning and knowledge creation. Finally, we also tried to reach out to the for a response on what is going about the public consultation, happening online on the portal. We were ill-fated here too. But at the same time, we are overwhelmed by the support and contribution of some of people who remain passionate about transforming education for better. A big thank you to all of them! I Editor Autar Nehru Chief Editorial Advisor: R K Misra (Senior Journalist) Consulting Editors Sudha Passi (formerly Sr Journalist, PTI) M K Bhat (Sr Journalist) Ramanathan Iyer, (Chennai) ( Associates Akshay Kumar Sahu Gurbinder Kaur Editorial Board AK Pandey (Principal, AIS New Delhi) Prof. Raj Kachroo, Mrs. Neelam Singhvi, Navin Bhatia, Prof Sarab N S Nagra. Business Development Managers Vijay Kaul, Rajesh Kaul, Dehradun: Utpala Deb A K Koul Mob: 09410356940 Meerut: Uzma Rizv Ghaziabad Zakir Patna: Manoj Kumar 9006645924 Jammu: Sandeep Dhar (09906309745) Design & Graphics Wazid Ali Circulation Dimple Nehru, Ganesh Sharma Address:Post Box No. 230 Head Post Office Dehradun Uttrakhand -248001 Website: Email: Delhi Office: 245 Pkt 1 DDA Flats, Sector 23, Dwarka, New Delhi-77 Ph: 011-28051622/42, Mob: , 9868256512 Email: Content & marketing by: Sheen Communications, New Delhi Printed, Published and Owned by: Avtar Krishen Kaul, Saraswati Colony, Smith Nagar, PO- Prem Nagar, Dehradun (Uttrakhand)248001 and Printed at Microsoft Technoprint India Private Limited, 37 Old Cannaught Place, Dehradun (UttraKhand) and Published at Saraswati Colony, Smith Nagar, PO- Prem Nagar, Dehradun (Uttrakhand)-248001, Editor: Avtar Nehru RNI No. UTTENG/2010/37634 Curriculum September 16 2015 3


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EDITORIAL 'Rampant' media illiteracy among educationists, education industry N THE EVE OF TEACHERS DAY THIS YEAR, Prime Minister Modi in his customary 'pathshala' address said teachers should write about students who left a mark on them. In fact, this is one thing among several things teachers can write about. But it appears, most teaches don't even give a thought to writing. Some of them may parrot in public platforms about the importance of sharing best practices, innovations, interventions, successes, ideas, but a reality check would be shocking. This magazine purposely collected names and contacts of teachers who got national award from the central board of secondary education through RTI. Effort at getting this information on last year's awardees, who are awarded by the President were frustrated by the ministry of HRD, which said that it doesn't have any information on what basis (the actual work) the teachers got award. However, in July this year, we went ahead with the CBSE award winners and requested them to contribute a few thoughts on New Education Policy, Teacher Issues and even gave them freedom to choose what they want to write about helping further national education agenda. Shockingly, even among O the very few among 50 odds who replied, didn't write even a paragraph of 50 words. Simultaneously, this publication also wrote to about 150 firms who offer one or other solution, service or product in education technology space in the country to put a summary of what they offer in layman language so that readers get a sense of what this digital disruption is about. Out of these much, four replied through their agencies. Big corporations like Intel all along have been promoting education and engaging with education like 'mandatory' CSR even though their core business is chip making. The reasoning is unless there is an educated population, the consumption of their product or innovation will not be there. But, our education industry doesn't get into bettering the system where they want to work. Almost everybody is a silo. That by contributing and engaging with media that too niche media of own industry is eventually a beneficial proposition need to be clearly understood. Media literacy can define a vibrant media, which in turn can be a platform of objective information, great exchange and networked engagement. Your suggestions/feedback is welcome THE INDIA EDUCATION LANDSCAPE UPDATE Call us at 9540706967/9868256512 EmailL


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Spotlight Teacher Crisis: Will anybody acknowledge it as an Emergency? The Government must actually publish a white paper NDIA'S ENTIRE EDUCATION SYSTEM FROM PREschool to university level is besieged by lack of teachers. More than half of India's population is below 25 years of age, most of who hypothetically would be learning either in formal education system including vocational education & training as junior employees/laborers/entrepreneurs etc. And all of them need teachers or rather charitably, good teachers. Official statistics conservatively calculated a few years back state that country is short of 5-6 lakh teachers in schools alone. In higher education segment, some estimates put the vacancies at about 44% of the sanctioned posts. The emerging skill development sector practically is almost without a proper academic structure or architecture. No teachers, no assessors, no content. The creation of Sector Skill Councils offers some comfort but it is a long way to go. As per DISE (District Information System for Education by NUEPA) reports, which compiles and analyzes information on schools across the country, a sizeable number of primary schools are single teacher schools. There are tens of thousands of schools from an estimated 1.5 million in the country, which don't have a science teacher or a mathematics teacher. Same is true for English language teachers. Then, there is a major challenge of adhoc teachers, parateachers and under qualified and untrained teachers almost everywhere. SSA or Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, which is being hailed for several years now as the best intervention in spreading schooling access universally, actually indirectly is the reason behind the downfall of teacher standards in India. The focus of the governments shifted entirely to meet central norms, targets and providing good statistics on enrolments. In the process, teacher selection process was not only diluted but eroded beyond repair. Then influx of para-teachers in millions in education system had a diabolical effect on the teaching community. These para teachers do the same job as regular teachers thereby making once vibrant DIETS (District Institute of Educational & Training) dysfunctional and slowly irreverent. Teacher unions did the rest of the damage. These unions extended a protectionist cover to teachers. Most union office bearers at various levels don’t teach in classrooms is a known I fact, but in several places even the other teachers as well don’t do sothemselves. In hinterland, these teachers hire some unemployed less qualified local person and outsource teaching to him or her at one-eighth of their salaries. At the same, there is a vast majority of dedicated teachers as well. But overall, most government teachers irrespective of their place of working, remain passive learners themselves and don't explore their limits and talents, which would have benefitted students and ultimately education. The Justice Verma Committee report in 2012 on the directive of the Supreme Court of India, did well to document the malaise in teacher education and made several path breaking recommendations. After this, the apex body regulating teacher education in the country, NCTE (National Council for Teacher Education) was put under its monitoring by the top court and a process has begun to make teacher education, an education experience and training indeed. However, there is a limit to court intervention when the magnitude of the crisis is so huge. In a country where more than 90% of the teacher aspirants fail even the class 6 syllabus in prerecruitment written exam called Teacher Eligibility Test, the evidence that a lot of rot has entered into education in the past is obvious to make out. So, there is an urgent need to invest in teacher quality. But going through the routine rule book assuring accountability of teachers has proved counterproductive the world over. So, thinking of punishments is not the answer. Experts feel, it is the nurturing of teachers that will transform them into good teachers. The teachers themselves will have to take a lead and develop a love for their profession. As the passion grows, the hunger for being a better teacher will also grow and ultimately apart from leading a satisfactory life, such teachers will contribute immensely to the society. Some experiments are on in the country, which will come up with models where teaching profession will become an aspiring career and attract tip-notch talent. Then, the system will also proceed to self-correction and in a near future date, the issues we talked above, will no long remain valid. Curriculum September 16 2015 5


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News Plus Catch 22 like situation on 'No detention Policy' CCORDING TO A STATEMENT issued soon after the first meeting of the reconstituted CABE (Central Advisory Board of Education, the apex advisory panel on education in India) committee that took place on August 19, in New Delhi, there is a broad census among states to do away with the 'No detention Policy' and bring back assessment (examination). Barring Karnataka, almost all states reportedly favored diluting of section 16 of the Right to Education Act, 2009, which says, “No child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary Education.” However, the union HRD ministry under Smriti Irani much like as in the case of scrapping of Delhi University's FYUP where it made UGC the fall gay, doesn't want to take blame or be seen a party to pushing RTE Act amendment. So, it has directed states to send their comments in writing with 15 days (that is by September 4). Irani also indicated a reversal of former HRD minister Kapil Sibals' decision on making 10th class board option after the meeting. In effect, class X board exam may be back soon. Following the enactment of the Right to Education Act, 2009 on April 1, 2010, a lot of attention and discussion has been on the impact of section 16 (no detention policy under which each student irrespective of his academic performance has to be promoted to next class) of the Act on learning outcomes and a 'consequential' dilution of education quality in schools as well as inability of these students to cope with class IX and beyond curriculum. In line with this perception and vociferous appeals from some states and educationists, during the 59th CABE meeting in June 2012, a sub-committee headed by the then Haryana education A minister, Geeta Bhukkal was formed, which eventually submitted its report in September 2013 and actually by majority view recommended a rethink on the provision. “While theory and theoreticians may have a strong case for retaining the provision of "No Detention" (this view has been specifically put forward by two members of the Committee), the practical reality and experience across the country, across the stakeholders, clearly shows that ground is not ready to receive this positively. In absence of ground preparation, the intentions of the provision have not been met at all. Since Even some educationists see no big deal in bringing back assessments and retaining under performers in the same class. “Failure is a reality of life and without experiencing it a child's life will be lopsided. Some people need more time to learn. And schooling is the foundation of education, so if it is weakened by promoting a child irrespective of learning outcome, you aren't helping either the objective of child or society by way of knowledge transaction. By letting the child bypass benchmarked learning outcomes, you are only burdening his subsequent academic future with unfinished education. It hasn't to be seen A Serious Rethink Needed on CCE The hastily set out Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation or CCE is taking a toll on children, teachers and parents. The market forces have made it a nightmare for the ordinary students. First it was projects on sale, now it is CCE books that are in fashion. Education ministers have come to conclusion that no detention policy has promoted duffers to class IX and hence there is a crisis of poor learning outcomes. Some people who agree with this notion say that education is being diluted under some conspiracy to damage India's education legacy. But nobody is saying why not use your entire digital prowess to mandatorily train all teachers on CCE. Teachers must first pass that training assessment. The learning outcome situation was not any better even in 1995? it is a serious issue related to future of our children, we need not act in haste. We need to stop, re-assess and then move forward. At this stage, it would be prudent to re-iterate the need for assessment of learning outcomes and make it consequential by linking it to promotion or otherwise to the next class beyond Grade V,” the report concluded. Since then, the recommendation has r action. been hanging fire. And eversince the NDA government took over, the demand has again picked up for action. in a negative connotation, but a line has to be drawn. Whether it should be class III or class V can be decided later, but first you have to agree that straight away promotions aren't good,” says Rachna Pant, Principal of the Ramjas School, R K Puram (New Delhi). However, notwithstanding, this overwhelming support for repeal or modification of section 16 of the RTE, Act, the fact remains that any such amendment has to pass through parliament and perhaps a whole body of 6 Curriculum September 16 2015


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News Plus research, which clearly provides evidence of the benefits of no detention policy against retention. Recently, a group of parliamentarians have come together in support of activists who are against dilution of RTE Act and want the government to accept that implementation of the Act has largely failed and through an amendment to the Act, the government makes fresh deadlines for its effective implementation. So in the first instance, the amendment may not find easy support in the Parliament. The Bhukkal committee report ironically cites one study by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, which found no absolute relation between retention policies and overall pupil achievement. It noted that pupils in the Scandinavian countries and Japan, which have done away with grade repetition, typically perform well above the international average on comparative examinations. Further it concluded that a review of the research on grade repetition provides no conclusive evidence to support the hypothesis that repetition is a more effective way of helping low achievers than automatic promotion. Also, the states which are lagging behind in Educational Development Index (DISE 2012-13) Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Meghalaya have all shown positive results both in terms of pass percentage and number of candidates appeared. The candidates of Class X pass outs of 2013 availed just one year no detention facility under RTE Act, 2009 though 28 states have no detention up to different classes. The results clearly demonstrate no negative impact of the No detention, rather illustrated positive impact. The issue has also been made complicated by Comprehensive and Continuous Evaluation or CCE, which is provided under section 29(h) of the RTE Act. As the concept is not understood by an overwhelming majority of ASER Reports are not Gospels Those who are not familiar with working of voluntary sector must know that funds don't come easy. Unless the cause is pressing and appealing, no donor is going to listen. The hypothesis underlying all causes is that the situation is very bad and intervention is needed to make it good. Pratham is also a voluntary organization. It is but natural for it to pick up the pockets that validate their hypothesis. And once it worked, it became a talking point. Unfortunately even the seasoned experts and officials refer to its famous lines that a class IV student can't read class II text etc. To this surely, there exists hundreds of instances where students can't not only read but analyze as well. NUEPA, UNESCO, UNICEF can provide field reports to this effect. The country need to map and develop its educational goals to match its developmental aspirations and diverse needs. Once it is taken seriously, a lot of research can happen around it to provide insights. teachers/school administrators and no sufficient in service training of teachers has gone into it, the evaluation system has become a joke and a burden for all from students, teachers to parents. So, any tinkering with section 16 will also have to effected in CCE provision. Anita Rampal, professor, department of education, Delhi University who also played a pivotal role in framing the policy as per a report in Times of India, ascribes the demand for removal of 'nodetention clause' from the RTE Act to ineffective implementation of provisions o f t h e l a w. " C o n t i n u o u s a n d Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) was not understood well, including by the CBSE. Manuals produced by CBSE were not sufficient and teachers also never got any meaningful orientation. It was produced in a traditionalist paradigm," she explains. She points out that despite CCE, questions in school examinations continue to be such that only rote learning will help. "Our system is stuck on giving remedial measures rather than going for supportive measures." In such a complex situation, it would be difficult for government to make amendments to satisfy state politicians but disregard expert opinion. Low teacher accountability, lack of a pedagogy that sufficiently addresses multi· level environments, insufficient teaching skills, insufficient systemic support are some areas the government should place its attention to than blaming the 'laxity' under section 16 for poor quality education in schools as also to prevent undoing of government schools in country. Number of scholarships doubled under National Talent Search Scheme Number of scholarships under National Talent Search Scheme will be doubled to 2000 from existing 1000. This was announced by the Union MHRD Smriti Irani while speaking on the occasion of 55th Foundation Day celebration of the NCERT in New Delhi. While expressing concern about quality in school education, the Union Minister asked the Director, NCERT to undertake the National Achievement Survey for Classes III, V, VIII and X, annually. She also desired that a roadmap be prepared and submitted to Ministry. The Minister also stated that the NCERT will make recommendation specially to help students who are slow learners. She also directed NCERT to make available online all the new research work in teachers education. Curriculum September 16 2015 7


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News Plus 3rd Edition of Pearson Voice of Teacher Survey Teachers as practitioners call for him, not satisfied with current assessment system, expect a robust framework in proposed New Education Policy HE THIRD edition of the annual Voice of Teacher Survey, which was started by Pearson India in 2012, reveals that a majority of teachers are convinced about the low employability quotient of their students and feel, they should be inducted early to understand the nuisances of their future employment. The survey commissioned by Pearson India was conducted by market intelligence consultancy, Spire Research and Consulting, in July 2015 August 2015. 5,387 teachers from schools and higher education institutes across 527 cities and towns in India were interviewed. Released on the occasion of Teachers' Day (5th September), the survey focused on four themes of the New Education Policy under consultation and included: 1. Comprehensive Education—Ethics, Physical Education, Arts & Crafts and Life Skills; 2. School standards, school assessment and school management systems; 3. Promotion of ICT systems;4.Engagement with industry to link education to employability. Deepak Mehrotra, Managing Director, Pearson India, said, “Pearson has taken an initiative to engage with the teachers to bring-out the topical issues facing Indian education sector and suggest measures to transform the learning landscape in the country. We are glad that the platform is gaining relevance among the teaching community and this is evident from the growing participation of teachers every year.” With teachers considering 57% of the Indian students to be educated but not adequately prepared for employment, the survey respondents strongly called for increased industry academia collaboration, particularly for course restructuring (75%), to help boost employability. Interestingly, the teaching community (44%) expressed T the need for industry training of teachers in addition to merit-based industry in ter n s h ip s ( 4 8 % ) f o r students. 52% of the respondents believe that India's Education Assessment Framework lacks specific action points for teachers and parents to enable holistic education. Dissatisfaction with the assessment system in India is much higher at Higher Education level (60%) than School level (43%). For integration of ICT in the education system, teachers across India recommend provision of computer and internet connectivity across institutions (66%) and installation of smart boards (62%) as key requirements. However, teachers consider high cost of technology installation (38%) and lack of infrastructure & maintenance (23%) as the biggest challenges for technology adoption at educational institutions. The silver lining of the findings showed in teachers' belief (60%) that India's education system is providing comprehensive and holistic education (subject knowledge along with social, creative, physical and ethical) to learners. However, teachers at highereducation level are less convinced with the existing system's ability to provide holistic education (51%) vis-à-vis counterparts at school level (72%). To facilitate transition from 'subjectbased learning' to 'holistic learning', teachers across India ranked appropriate continuous assessments of students' performance (47%), better integration of technology &digital content into teaching methodology (44%) and linkage between concepts across subjects/discipline (43%) as the most effective ways. “It is great to see widespread acceptance for technology adoption as well digital education tools across the learning curve. Going by the survey findings, there may be a case for the government to consider introducing technology subsidization schemes for educational institutes”, added Mehrotra. Responding to findings, a panel of experts expressed varied opinions on key issues. While Amitabh Jhingan, the former partner & education leader at E & Y, feels schools need to lay foundation for future employability and be exposed to workplace, educationist Abha Adams says only skills like communication, analytical thinking, and interpersonal communication must be developed in schools. She also questions the examination system which rewards individual excellence and not collaborative learning. Prof NV Varghese of NUEPA goes to the extent of saying that higher education system can't become job specific and is meant to provide only core skills. “We'll be failing if we attempt to provide job skills because our teachers are not trained,” he adds. Adams says schools should give depth to students instead of specific job orientation early at age of 16 or so. The last mantra, pick up the best practices. 8 Curriculum September 16 2015


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Special Column Prof. MM Pant, celebrated national educationist & founder LMP Education Trust RECLAIMING LEARNING: thoughts on Teachers Day I I We are in the second half of the second decade of the 21st century, and the criticality of 'learning' , and especially higher order thinking skills and creativity is a sine qua non for flourishing and thriving in the emerging knowledge, innovation and sharing economy. NDIA HAS been celebrating Teacher's Day on 5th September, since 1962, and over half a century, it has has become a kind of ritual, ' a dead habit' ( Tagore) and we have forgotten about the importance of 'learning' which the teacher imparted. On this important day, this year we organised an event to re-focus on learning and the new ways in which it could happen. Striving towards Tagore's goal of "where the mind is clear and the head is held high', we think it is time to 'reclaim learning' from the prevailing unsatisfactory state of education. It was famously said that it takes a whole village to educate a child. We now have the global village (with MOOCs and OERs) to do so. We of course believe (Rigveda) in allowing noble thoughts to come to us from all directions and in the 24 gurus of Dattatreya. While the journey of reclaiming learning from its usurpers will be a long and arduous one, we are trying to take a small step in fostering a life-long learning community ( Forum of Innovative Researchers and Educators) and sharing possibilities in new ways of learning. We focused on two big ideas: one of using mobiles and handhelds for learning and the other of innovations in education, especially on potentially disruptive ideas. The potential of mobile and handheld learning in education is now accepted by the UNESCO which is organising annual Mobile Learning weeks. And for the 2015 Mobile Learning week the focus was on 'educating the girl child'. With the accessibility of Mobile phones and the MHRD initiatives through the CIET, NCERT of all their books in English, Hindi and Urdu being available for free on mobile devices, a new era in education is upon us. The pedagogy of mobile education and adoption of Heutagogy, managing the learning of self-directed life long learners will become one of the important competencies of the new age teacher. Educational Innovation is now needed to be able to use these to provide a high quality education with deeper learning to all, using Flipped learning, mastery learning and personalisation. One important innovation is to move away from seeking certificates from 'authorities' to creating evidence and data for knowledge and competencies demonstrated by holding badges. The other is to extend classroom teaching to allow some learning before class, active engagement during class and follow up activities after the class is over. We propose to call it 'the augmented classroom lecture'. Virtual reality experiences such as Oculus Rift, Google cardboard box or Samsung gear are eminently suitable for pre-class and post-class activities. Using tools such as the Microsoft Hololens can fundamentally transform the degree of engagement during the class. The third would be to change the goal of learning as preparation for fitting into existing jobs to create persons who lead change and create new industries and professions. Persons who are willing to learn to learn and have good thinking and problem solving skills, are needed in increasing numbers in the future. All over the world, in ancient times, the seeker/learner went to seek learning from the knowers. At some point in history, the State took over education as a matter of public policy, and since then bureaucracies and politicians have been articulating policies and passing laws on matters related to education, but the critical element of 'learning' is often overlooked. We are in the second half of the second decade of the 21st century, and the criticality of 'learning' , and especially higher order thinking skills and creativity is a sine qua non for flourishing and thriving in the emerging knowledge, innovation and sharing economy. The Nobel Laureate in Economics (2009) Elinor Ostrom, established that resources held by a community can be better managed by the community itself,contrary to the well accepted ' tragedy of the commons' proposed by Garrett Hardin. And learning and knowledge reside in the community of teachers and learners. They must reclaim learning and devise methods and models for its universal accessibility. An important step towards this is to give recognition to independent educators, like lawyers, doctors and other professionals. When Archimedes grasped the principle of the lever, he remarked that ' give me a place to stand on, and I can move the world'. Today's educator can teach anyone anywhere in the world with Curriculum September 16 2015 9


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Special Column ...RECLAIMING LEARNING: thoughts on Teachers Day access to the Internet from a Smartphone, tablet or other handheld device. lawyers, doctors and other professionals. During our Teachers Day 2015 event, while the onsite event happened in Gurgaon, remote participants from London could see live streaming on their mobile phones. Truly the possibility of 'learning bring in your hands' is doable. And technology will only get better over the years. A set of tools comprising email, instant messaging, blog, YouTube etc. provide the full suite to connect teachers and learners. The other important element of reclaiming learning is to emulate the Montesquieu model of separation of State powers into executive, legislature and judiciary. So teaching, examinations and a qualification framework can operate as separate entities, within the education eco-system. The fatal flaw in our present model of education and learning is that it is driven by the authority of the State. As Henry Maine had stated in Ancient Law societies progress when they move from status to contract. Today, we believe that authority (status) is being replaced by 'data' and evidence. This is reflected in the 'Big Data' and Learning Analytics that give insights for decision making. Reclaiming learning therefore involves the interactions between the teachers, learners and content to create an eco-system that facilitates data driven inclusive learning, in a diverse cohort of learners. The new approach called 'Heutagogy' involves managing the learning of self-directed learners and relies upon nano-learning, flipped learning, social learning and mastery learning. The reason educators must reclaim learning is that 'education' is perhaps in the state when 'alchemy' transformed to 'Chemistry', and it is they who are in a better position to transform 'learning'. One important innovation was an awareness module on ' Learning to Live a Quality Life with Diabetes' which is ready for delivery on mobile devices and whatsApp and blogs. With India hurtling towards being the diabetic capital of the world, this may be a good instance of reverse innovation to reach the rest of the world after starting from India. If we feel overwhelmed with the challenge, I want to draw support and inspiration from a quote from Margaret Mead who said " Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has". I am sure that the readers of this magazine are the group that Margaret was talking of. Reclaiming learning therefore involves the interactions between the teachers, learners and content to create an ecosystem that I facilitates data driven inclusive learning, in a diverse cohort of learners. TAKE A MOMENT TO PONDER India has been at war against its teachers, and it will be a great achievement for the new government if it can bring this war to a halt. Started in the early 1990s under the cover of fiscal reforms, this war acquired social approval with passage of time. The state, meanwhile found many partners who have helped fight the war in its behalf. ..Teaching is the heart of education, and that is where the crisis of education has India the hardest. Prof Krishna Kumar, former director NCERT, & Prof of Education, Delhi University Perhaps never before in the past ages teachers were faced with so many challenges as they do today. They are still admired and adored by many, even though they are bullied by others in all sort of ways. Teachers have access to a variety of aids for teaching as never before, and at the same time these aids could become their rivals and surrogates...Fortunately, as always, teaching continues to be more than just a profession. - Prof Vinay K Kantha, professor of mathematics, Patna University Teachers role in policy making is quite negligible, though in recent years, some countries have taken efforts to involve them in policy formulation too. Having the expertise in teaching and having exposed to different children from diverse sections of society, they in fact are the apt people to design educational polices or programmes. -Dr Poornima M, Associate Fellow at CSD, New Delhi 10 Curriculum September 16 2015


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Special Column Saloni Gupta, Head, TeacherChoice, TalentSprint Pvt Ltd TEACHER BY CHOICE: tending towards a promising profession S THE MOST SIGNIFICANT AND costly resource in schools, teachers are central to school improvement efforts. Improving the efficiency and equity of schooling depends primarily on increasing the competence of the teachers, and attracting competent people to become teachers. Hence, teacher's issues are a priority for public policy and will become even more so in future years. According to NSDC, India needs 2 million teachers by 2022 with a current annual severe shortage of 60%. The enormity of India's challenge is further aggravated by the fact that India's bottom 20% graduates choose to become teachers, that too when they have failed in pursuing all other career avenues. The implication is that India doesn't have people, forget competent people, becoming teachers. While the world's best education systems are pursuing to raise the quality of their teaching, India is still struggling to get an adequate supply of teachers. To overcome this deepening crisis, India requires the involvement of diverse stakeholders: government agencies, private training providers, educational and training institutes and employers. In June 2015, TalentSprint, with support from NSDC, started two projects in this direction – “Teach To Achieve”, for aspiring teachers and “Teach To Transform”, for in-service teachers. The two programs have shed light on some recent trends that challenge the statistics of quantity and quality of teachers' training and give hope to a brighter future for the Nation. A I student achievement, “Teach To Achieve” is one concerted effort to attract top talent to the teaching profession and provide high-quality training. Since the launch of the program, we have found that postgraduates (in fields as diverse as Maths and Bio-chemistry), and engineering graduates are looking at teaching as a serious career option. In fact, professionals working in top-notch IT companies quit their profession and joined “Teach To Achieve” because they want to become teachers for a better job-satisfaction despite the lower compensation. India needs 2 million teachers by 2022 with a current annual severe shortage of 60%. The enormity of India's challenge is further aggravated by the fact that India's bottom 20% graduates choose to become teachers, that too when they have failed in pursuing all other career avenues. BREAKING MYTH 2: EDUCATION POLICY, SCHOOL INFRASTRUCTURE, STUDENTS-TEACHERS RATIO AND TECHNOLOGY DECIDES THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION Research clearly indicates that the single most important factor that decides the quality of education is the quality of the teachers. To reiterate, other factors like infrastructure, school policies, students-teacher ratio are not the deciding factors of quality of education. However since the prime area of concern for a parent seems to be student-teacher ratios, infrastructure, extracurricular activities etc, the schools work on improving these metrics. However, if the parents start asking,“How many hours do your teachers spend in professional development?” can you imagine what the schools will do? This shift in expectation has already begun. Questions about teaching quality have always been important to parents. But they never had a simple, easy way of asking for it. However the modern parents with successful careers are clearly focusing beyond academics – all round development of their children is clearly an expressed need. “I want my child to be a doctor or an engineer” is being replaced with “I want my child to be independent, creative, organized ... ”. TalentSprint's “Teach To Transform” program and weekend workshops christened “Teaching Labs”have brought in forefront a new trend. This program conducts workshops and training for in- BREAKING MYTH 1: IF YOU CAN'T DO ANYTHING, BECOME A TEACHER. Hands down, in order to attract the best candidates to the teaching profession, Indian private schools need to offer adequate pay, which in turn, is one more evidence that teachers are still not valued by our society. That said, there is good news in this area: a few international schools are offering starting salaries higher than several IT companies. As this trend sets in a domino effect in all private schools, the next big challenge will be to design a high-quality initial training for teachers that can meet the global standards. Curriculum September 16 2015 11


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Special Column Dr N Venkateshwarlu, Associate Professor, School of Engineering Technology, IGNOU How Distance Education Teachers can Stay Relevant in this exciting era D I In order to make distance learning system more effective, open and distance learning teachers must develop A/V programmes, online tutoring classes, virtual labs, best quality of study materials by including so ISTANCE EDUCATION teachers have added responsibility to look after the students, in terms of their pass out rate and not enrolment growth. The distance education teachers should try to enhance the pass out percentage and reduce the drop out percentage by use of Information and Communication Technology at appropriate time, appropriate place and appropriate students to motivate the students to be active in this network of education process. It is the responsibility of distance education teachers to closely monitor the student's performance by creating closed environment in open education system. Distance education teachers must ensure use of ICTs and other technologies for imparting knowledge to the students. Teachers must guide, motivate, teach and impart knowledge to the distance learning students by various means and by utilizing updated computer and networked technology. In order to make distance learning system more effective, open and distance learning teachers must develop A/V programmes, online tutoring classes, virtual labs, best quality of study materials by including solved problems and uploading them to website. Apart from teaching and guidance, motivation and communication plays an important role i making the students to complete their studies. Students in distance education system who stays far away from the teachers, meet the counselors at the study centre during weekends to clear their doubts. Therefore guiding, motivation, communication and counseling practices should be made effective to increase the efficiency of distance education system. According to Moumita Das and Chinmay Kumar Ghosh (2011) proper organization of counseling sessions would lead to enhancement the success rate of the students and reduction of the attrition rate. Students should be continuously trained by providing supplementary materials, assignment questions; mini and major project guidance. Conducting extra counseling classes at study centers may improve the student pass out rate in the distance education system. Developing new tools, techniques and methods of teaching in distance education system may enhance the effectiveness of distance education system and improves the student satisfaction levels. Compare the students pass out rate and drop out rate every year and list out the reasons by designing and developing a continuous feedback mechanism and devise an effective teaching and learning mechanism to improve the students pass out rate and reduce the students drop out rate.n ...TEACHER BY CHOICE: tending towards a promising profession service teachers. One of the most encouraging outcome of these is that school leaders are looking beyond the training and asking how techniques shared in these programs can be efficiently translated in their teachers' classrooms. The best news is that more and more schools are willing to invest in developing their teachers by asking for constant feedback and intervention in addition to the training. In fact, they have started giving incentives to teachers for their professional development. Clearly a new trend is emerging. Schools have started seeing teachers training as lifelong started seeing teachers training as lifelong learning rather than a one-time activity. Schools have begun to realize that the high-quality professional development is important not only for higher quality instruction but also for teacher retention in this era of high turnover and for meeting changing requirements of the modern workplace. The day is not far off when a minimum hours of professional development will be made compulsory and marked as a top priority by most of the schools instead of the infrastructure or student-teachers ratio. This shift is significant considering the popular 12 Curriculum September 16 2015


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Special Column Salony Priya, Director Ummeed Counselling & Consulting Services Flawed Understanding Adding up Challenges 1.Bridge the gap for teachers between their own subject knowledge and application of this knowledge as skill; 2. Enable them to deal with students who are tech savvy , exposed and all the time on google, the gen next that communicates and relates differently; 3. Feel more respected in society in terms of status and salary. Related to this is the fundamental issue of Social & Emotional wellness of Educators. May be this would ensure more people to take this profession by choice and not chance , as is the current scenario. Across the country , when you travel to small towns , the private schools running as 'English medium schools ' would have very ill-equipped teachers , in terms of their own language ability and knowledge of teaching pedagogy . To add to this we have more people not opting for this as a lucrative career and hence it has a vicious cycle. Poor talent entering , then they training students who are either frustrated with teachers or those who remain silent from fear of being scolded.......the cycle spirals downwards with incompetence and dissatisfaction being the part and parcel. T he most critical issues for teachers across the country is mainly three pronged: I information is quicker and better monitoring possible. Library and record documentation have been implementing use of technology very efficiently. Having acknowledged the advantages of Technology in education , we have a pitiable condition on other side where teachers who are to use these tools are struggling , and resistant , at times even feeling insecure that this technology makes them look redundant. In some cases it is lack of exposure leading to a mind set of resistance and on other hand it is lack of resources , no practice. So availability of high end technology only in school with very limited training o teachers , does not give them confidence to use technology. We still have miles to go before we sleep..... Process has started of accepting technology in schools , but still its correct usage and whole hearted integrated acceptance is to be achieved CCE Challenge As a HR trainer and teacher mentor , working with more than 150 schools in 11 states, I have experienced mixed views on CCE. People have accepted it as a grading system however the wider perspective of developing an approach in teachers who use CCE pattern, to evaluate kids on their skills and not one time memory based tests, it is not yet used in a coherent and consistent manner . There are diverse interpretations of various skills and the parameters to define and measure it. I have experienced teachers using this method only as another table and hardly going into understanding skills, abilities and interest of students. It has in some cases contrary to its purpose , ended in more labelling of students and partial assessments. From acute helplessness due to lack of training on CCE to half hearted effort to implement it ,we have schools still coming terms to it . The schools that have been able to implement it and appreciate its long term advantage , find difficult to convince parents on its merit . Also at times it has the constant blame of reducing From acute helplessness due to lack of training on CCE to half hearted effort to implement it , We have schools still coming terms to it . T ECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION HAS arrived to stay. There are educational institutions where it is being effectively utilized to enhance students interest, learning and allows exploration. This has made retention in class better and added to teachers skill sets to bring the world in the classroom and make learning more multifaceted. The office management systems and school softwares have ensured connectivity with parents increases, passing of Curriculum September 16 2015 13


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Special Column G.BALASUBRAMANIAN, Former Director Academic CBSE, educationist & expert on school safety CLASSROOMS OF THE FUTURE W I Teachers need to be both current and competent to meet this emerging need. They need to provide more resources to enable the learning to quench his learning thirst and his engagement with extended learning opportunities HENEVER I used to reflect on the statement of Sri Aurobindo on the principles of Education, the first principle always used to provoke a number of questions in my mind. It reads as follows – “The first principle of true teaching is nothing can be taught.” The recent researches about the process of learning by neuro-cognitive scientists go all out to support this idea that you cannot teach people. All that happens in the brain is learning – formal, informal, incidental and accidental. Learning is a self-directed process articulated by the individual, influenced and shaped by several factors like societal, geographical and cultural conditions. The learner constructs his learning and hence one cannot cause learning. Therefore, the role of the teacher is to be redefined as a facilitator, an enabler, a guide, a mentor and a counsellor. This repositioning of the role of the teacher needs to be understood with the kind of sensitivity it needs, so that the teacher can play the role more meaningfully and effectively. This restricts the top-down or an ivory-tower approach in the classroom. With the gateways of knowledge assimilation wide open, the learner has both the access and opportunity to learn at his will, not conditioned by time and space. Learning thus becomes multi-polar and societal. Learner has the freedom to use his freewill, aptitude, interest and skills to acquire knowledge at a pace he chooses and thus set one's own priorities for learning. This raises a serious issue with regard to the pedagogy to be employed in the classroom. Teachers need to be both current and competent to meet this emerging need. They need to provide more resources to enable the learning to quench his learning thirst and his engagement with extended learning opportunities. With technology at his or her desk, the learners travel widely world over, net working with people and resources to validate their knowledge. The volume and quality of information at the hands of the learner poses a challenge to an unprepared teacher. With paradigm shift form knowledge to skills, the classrooms need to be more relevant to contextual skills and hence teachers need to be not only aware of skills but comfortable enough to handle them. A teacher who would the information broker in a classroom would be singularly rejected. The teachers need to change their status from “Technology literacy” to “Technology fluency” to play on equal platform with the younger generation. The recent focus on “thinking skills” and “problem solving skills” by certain boards and an endorsement of these skills by the CABE in its recent meeting sends a strong positive message to the schools to refocus their pedagogy from rote learning to “critical thinking”. To provide an atmosphere for effective, productive learning in the classrooms, the pedagogical skills of the teachers need to be harnessed and they should be helped to make classrooms more interactive, experiential and participative. “Pedagogical intelligence” of the teachers will be under an acid test in the future classrooms. During my interactions with a student of the senior school, I was outwitted by his question. He initiated a dialogue with me and asked “Sir, where do you buy your milk?” I was surprised by the question, but quietly replied “From the milk booth.” He then asked “where do you buy your drugs?” I replied coolly “from the chemist's shop”. He went further “Where do you buy your cosmetics?” I patiently replied “From a super market”. He shocked me with his question “Sir, you buy milk from one place, the drugs in another place and the cosmetics from the third place. Why do you want us to come to the same school to study Maths, physics and Chemistry? Can't we choose a school of our choice for each of these subjects?” I was silenced. I didn't want to give a reply, because he had set the ball in motion for a school of the future. Are we ready for such challenging situations in our classrooms? 14 Curriculum September 16 2015


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Cover Story India towards a New Education Policy Framework Going by the public utterances of the MHRD, India will have a new national policy on education by the end of this year. Though there is hardly any clue as to how the ongoing consultations at 'various levels' are being processed and ultimately how the new policy will be put to 'vote' for approval, there is still time left to infuse ideas and contribute for aligning the new policy to a vision of prosperous and vibrant India. Somehow, preparations for a new policy announced on January 26 this year lack an aura of excitement, enthusiasm and participation. The architecture of consultation process has been questioned by many as it is not following the benchmarked standard operating procedure of policy making. If this government wanted to do things differently, it could have parallelly involved the university system of the country to provide empirical research inputs/suggestions. Regional or theme cohorts consisting of a lead university, affiliated colleges and even some selected schools, would have produced wonderful results from grassroots. “As someone who has been teaching in different public institutions of higher education for more than 30 years, I have always associated these institutions with teachers and students. The relationships amongst teachers and students are extraordinarily diverse—there are far too many moments of frustration, despair and exasperation, but there are also moments of exhilaration and excitement. If one is looking for an understanding of these experiences and also of the transformative potential of education, this document is clearly not the way to go. The covering page of the document lists 20 themes for consultation. Teachers figure in the title of the 12th theme, and student support in the title of the 13th. That provides, perhaps, a sense of the priorities of those who have structured the document, and the consultation that is meant to ensue on its basis,” wrote Kumkum Roy, a fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi in May issue of Economic & Curriculum September 16 2015 ROF R GOVINDA, one of India's topmost architects of education reforms during the last decade or so, who recently retired as the vicechancellor of state-run National University of Educational Planning & Administration (NUEPA), the apex educational policy research university in the country, at an event a couple of months ago outlined two core values that our education system must imbibe and propagate. He said, “We must make new environmental ethics a part and parcel of higher education for sustainable development to succeed. At the moment it is the school children who are compulsorily taught environmental science but then we stop teaching youth in colleges. Children in any case are very innocent and love nature, young adults need to be sensitized and taught.. P Supreme Court of India has also given a direction to teach environment to college students.” The second value he shared was about global citizenship. “Learning to live together is fundamental for progress and world peace. And our education system must carry this value in its core.” This small backdrop is to bring home the point that a national education policy must provide a comprehensive vision, from which action plans can germinate and there will be a broad consensus, sensitization and urgency for their implementation. The National Policy on Education, 1986 (modified in 1992) was a watershed moment for education in India after Kothari commission of 1966.We need to provide a continuum of that vision and galvanize all stakeholders for embracing change. 15



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