The Plus Two Pain

India Today - - MAIL - by Neena Vyas

Is it go­ing to be plus 2 plus 3, or 10 plus 2 plus 2, or even 1 1 plus 3? In this new game of num­bers called the re­struc­tur­ing of ed­u­ca­tion, what is in dan­ger of be­ing for­got­ten is the crux of the prob­lem. What is im­por­tant is not how many years a child spends at school and col­lege in one or two or three stages, but what and how he learns dur­ing that time. Ev­ery­one seems to agree that the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem needs to be over­hauled. Un­for­tu­nately, the great de­bate in the re­struc­tur­ing of ed­u­ca­tion seems to be cen­tring around ir­rel­e­van­cies like whether a child should spend 10, 11 or 12 years at school, whether this should be in one or two stages and fi­nally whether at col­lege the av­er­age stu­dent should spend two or three years get­ting his bach­e­lor's de­gree. Few seem to be wor­ried about mod­ernising cur­ric­ula or in­tro­duc­ing a new ap­proach to ed­u­ca­tion, an ap­proach in which the teacher should learn to draw out the stu­dent in­stead of pump­ing him with in­for­ma­tion. Dis­cus­sions on cur­ric­ula also tend to cen­tre around the width and breadth of the sub­ject to be ‘ cov­ered’ in­stead of wor­ry­ing about how a sub­ject is to be taught. In the last few weeks, thou­sands of chil­dren all over the coun­try have ap­peared for the first time for the Class X ex­am­i­na­tion which was in­tro­duced un­der the new pat­tern of ed­u­ca­tion by the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment.


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