Reddy stresses on heads sig­nif­i­cant role

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - JY­OTI PRAT­I­BHA SUVA Edited by Paula Tu­vuki Feed­back: jy­otip@ fi­jisun.com.fj

Teach­ers need to en­cour­age stu­dents to think out­side the box, says Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Ma­hen­dra Reddy.

“The fu­ture of our chil­dren is in our hands and we are not only pre­par­ing them for the in­ter­me­di­ate out­put of aca­demic ex­cel­lence but for the long term goal of build­ing a peace­ful, vi­brant and grow­ing so­ci­ety and coun­try,” Mr Reddy said.

He said that teach­ing strate­gies and as­sess­ment meth­ods should be de­signed in such a way that would en­cour­age chil­dren to un­der­take out­side the box think­ing. “The lessons should be in­ter­est­ing and teach­ers need to be a step ahead in en­abling stu­dents to think, an­a­lyse sit­u­a­tions and make in­de­pen­dent de­ci­sions,” he said. Mr Reddy said cu­rios­ity needed to be pro­moted amongst stu­dents so that they were in­ter­ested and thus, strive for ex­cel­lence. “The school en­vi­ron­ment should be invit­ing, class­room should be bright and cheery, lessons should be in­ter­est­ing where the stu­dents should be do­ing more talk­ing and work­ing, a teach­ing method­ol­ogy which I term as “Stu­dent Cen­tred”. “We need to move away from the con­cept of “teacher knows all” and in turn move to­wards the no­tion of pol­ish­ing what our chil­dren al­ready know. The 21st Cen­tury stu­dents are al­ready mov­ing leaps and bounds in their knowl­edge of tech­nol­ogy and com­put­ers and there­fore, we need to use that as a tool to as­sist their learn­ing of other sub­ject ar­eas.” He said that some strate­gies that cre­ated

such a teach­ing en­vi­ron­ment in­clude: al­low­ing stu­dents in de­ci­sion mak­ing,

as­sist­ing stu­dents to lead dis­cus­sions that is, for teach­ers to give up ab­so­lute con­trol,

sup­port­ing stu­dents to take con­trol of their learn­ing, us­ing di­verse range of strate­gies to teach con­cepts, us­ing ac­tiv­ity based in­struc­tions for dis­cov­ery learn­ing and never un­der­min­ing or dis­cred­it­ing a child’s ef­fort. Mr Reddy said that teach­ing crit­i­cal think­ing and prob­lem solv­ing ef­fec­tively in the class­room was vi­tal for stu­dents.

“In­volv­ing stu­dents in crit­i­cal think­ing will en­able stu­dents to de­velop other skills, such as, a higher level of con­cen­tra­tion, deeper an­a­lyt­i­cal abil­i­ties and im­proved thought pro­cess­ing. “Our con­tem­po­rary so­ci­ety re­quires our chil­dren to be ac­tive crit­i­cal thinkers as the so­lu­tions for many prob­lems in to­day’s so­ci­ety re­quire highly de­vel­oped crit­i­cal think­ing and prob­lem-solv­ing abil­i­ties,” he said.

Ma­hen­dra Reddy

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