Views and Reflections

Materials can be important for helping children learn. The very young child learns in interaction with and acting on the objects around her. In the beginning, the senses, motor abilities and subsequent causal analysis develops through their observations of the things around and their behaviour in different circumstances. This interaction with materials is spontaneous and directed by the child. The manner of interaction is decided by her and often their explorations do not meet with the approval of the adults.

Education is a prime concern of society. Naturally both as individuals and as a society we always think about a better education for all round growth and development of the individual and, ultimately, society. Today the term quality education has gained pace and is a matter of concern and debate among educationists and even common people. In fact education itself is qualitative in nature and outcome. The matter of discussion or concern should be the process, the contents etc.

In August 2009, the Indian parliament enacted the Right to Education (RTE) Act which enshrined education from 6 to 14 years as a ‘right’. The Act additionally mandated a variety of ‘requirements’ relating to infrastructure, Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR), curriculum, teacher training, inclusionary education, and the focus of this article – a continuous and comprehensive student evaluation system (CCE). The objective of these mandates was ensuring a ‘quality’ education for children.

Learning through play, particularly in a child’s earliest years of life, can improve 

It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do, We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.  ~Steve Jobs

This adage doesn’t seem to be understood by many school managements in India. They hire good teachers, and then tie them up with so many instructions that the teachers lose their freedom, their unique style of teaching, and are eventually labelled as unsuccessful teachers. One of these instructions is about the planning of a lesson.

When we look around us, or ask the high school students about the subjects they like the least... Chances are- the answer is Social Science.  Somehow Social Science has become equivalent to a boring, uninteresting, dull subject that puts the students to sleep.

A case study from Assam

Introduction

The Morning Assembly of 5th Sept’18 was no different than that on other days. I went to the school after a few days post the APF induction break. The assembly started with a group of three boys from class 6 reading out five prayers and shlokas from the book (which are mostly Hindu prayers). I always wonder whether these children even understand these purely Sanskrit shlokas, at least I don’t! Usually the prayer is followed by a good lecture by the head teacher on discipline or studies, the other teachers then follow the lead.

Teacher Education Institutions were established in a gradual manner to cater to the needs of teachers in the state. The first Teacher Education Institution under the Theological College was started by the Welsh Mission at Cherrapunjee for training of teachers at the primary level. In 1861, the Government decided to amalgamate the Training School section of the Cherrapunjee Normal School from Nongsawlia to Shillong and attached to the Welsh Mission High School at Mawkhar Shillong. By 1946, the Training School functioned in the same building.

Introduction

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