Strategies of Educational Reforms

Inculcating the national feeling and enabling the student to develop a national vision is an important aspect of education. The knowledge of the history, tradition, values and the world view together shape the national vision of the individual. The pupil must be made to understand the basis of our national unity and uniqueness of our culture. Inputs necessary for the learner to imbibe a sense of national pride must be included in the curriculum.

At the primary level, prevention of dropouts must become a matter of top priority. From this point of view, designing a detailed and in-depth study of the causes of dropout should become the very first step of a long-term planning in this direction. Immediate action should include extending necessary facilities and providing right incentives to the young learners as well as to the teaching fraternity. If there is one singular factor, which is of utmost importance in primary education, it is the imparting of education in the mother tongue or the regional language. The content of education must be made relevant to the needs of day-to-day life. The curriculum should be indigenous and within the comprehension of both the teacher and the taught.

At the secondary level, The vocational stream must be strengthened. Respect for manual work and dignity of labour must be inculcated. The course content and pedagogy need to be connected with local and regional needs so as to develop an appropriate indigenous technology for ‘development’ and social change. Skills like communication skills, logical skills, comprehension skills, creative skills, information technology, and management skills must get priority over mere book learning.

Liberalisation and deregulation of the education system to encourage promotion of new schools, colleges, vocational and other institutions of higher education is a must. Legislation relating to universities and the rules and regulations under them have remained substantially unchanged for the past 100 years. They should be simplified, rationalised for improving performance, efficiency and ensuring accountability. Colleges with a track record of competence should be given the autonomy to prescribe their own curriculum, conduct examinations, and award degrees.

Teacher training programmes should be sharply upgraded so that teachers have knowledge, skills as well as managerial competence. Contemporary understanding of how children learn needs to be brought in to help teachers experience this understanding. Government and the private sector should attract bright people into teaching. There is a dearth of talent in the teaching profession. If this means mandating higher salaries, so be it. Schools/ teachers who deliver better results on the redesigned assessment system of the boards and impart genuine learning and achievement should be celebrated and rewarded.