How school-col­lege gap can be bridged

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - TIMES NEWS NET­WORK

TALK­ING HEADS: Par­tic­i­pants at The Times of In­dia Vice Chan­cel­lor Con­clave on Mon­day called for mak­ing the school sys­tem dy­namic to pre­vent the need of coach­ing for higher ed­u­ca­tion New Delhi: Man­ish Siso­dia made a strong pitch for tack­ling the ed­u­ca­tional coach­ing in­dus­try and asked the stake­hold­ers in higher ed­u­ca­tion to work on bridg­ing the gap be­tween what schools teach and what col­leges ex­pect. Delhi’s deputy chief min­is­ter added that there was a need to make the school sys­tem dy­namic to pre­vent the need of coach­ing.

De­liv­er­ing the key note ad­dress at The Times of In­dia Vice Chan­cel­lor Con­clave on Mon­day, Siso­dia said: “Our school ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem is very static and its out­come is not in sync with the ex­pec­ta­tion of the col­leges. The dif­fer­ence is be­ing sought to be filled through coach­ing, which has grown over the years. It is a bur­den on the stu­dents be­cause as well as at­tend­ing school they also have to go for coach­ing.”

Siso­dia asked the par­tic­i­pat­ing vice-chan­cel­lors, col­lege prin­ci­pals and teach­ers to de­lib­er­ate on the mat­ter and find means to bridge the gap be­tween the school and col­lege sys­tems. “There is a need to make the school sys­tem dy­namic so that there is no re­quire­ment for coa

ching in­sti­tutes,” he said.

The first ses­sion of the con­clave was on the New Ed­u­ca­tion Pol­icy (NEP). The pan­el­lists high­lighted the need to fo­cus on skill cre­ation and to make ap­pren­tice­ship a manda­tory part of ed­u­ca­tion at the un­der­grad­u­ate level. Pro­fes­sor S K Mehro­tra, eco­nomics teacher at Jawa­har­lal Nehru Univer­sity, pointed out how less than 5% of the stu­dent opted for vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion af­ter sec­ondary school in In­dia. “In China, more than 50% are streamed into vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion,” he said.

Jayant Kr­ishna, se­nior fel­low, Cen­tre for Strate­gic and In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies, Wash­ing­ton DC, noted app

re­cia­tively that NEP made the study of one vo­ca­tional sub­ject com­pul­sory for classes XI and XII. “The pol­icy, how­ever, does not men­tion ap­pren­tice­ships for the stu­dents. A six-month ap­pren­tice­ship at the un­der­grad­u­ate level should be in­cor­po­rated in NEP,” Kr­ishna sug­gested.

With con­sen­sus on the im­por­tance of in­cul­cat­ing re­search at all lev­els of ed­u­ca­tion, Raghu­nath Shev­gaonkar, vice-chan­cel­lor, Ben­nett Univer­sity, ob­served, “NEP has brought re­search back into the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, but the af­fil­i­a­tion sys­tem is a prob­lem. This con­stricts re­search to a few univer­sity de­part­ments and leaves the un­der­grad­u­ate sys­tem un­ex­posed to re­search.”

Anna Roy, se­nior ad­vi­sor at Niti Aayog talked about the need to pro­vide com­mute in­fra­struc­ture.

Other themes dis­cussed at the con­clave in­cluded the need for dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion, in­ter­na­tion­al­i­sa­tion of ed­u­ca­tion and up-skilling aligned to in­dus­try. M P Poo­nia, vice-chair­man, All In­dia Coun­cil for Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion, said hackathons were be­ing or­gan­ised to pro­vide ex­po­sure to stu­dents.

Siso­dia asked the par­tic­i­pat­ing vice-chan­cel­lors, col­lege prin­ci­pals and teach­ers to de­lib­er­ate on the mat­ter and find means to bridge the gap be­tween the school and col­lege sys­tems

Ra­jesh Mehta

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