BRIDGING THE LEARNING DEFICIT


Bridging the learning deficit
Excerpts

“The problem of poor learning outcomes is of particular concern, for it is a structural issue pertaining to the design of curricula and ingrained rote learning methods. These have been the backbone of India’s teaching tradition for over half a century. But will this help create the kind of workforce that India wishes to develop: nimble, highly-skilled and ready for the digital age, the global economy and new pathways of occupational mobility? Or will the sheer weight of an outdated, colonial-era education system make Indians too sluggish and skill-deprived to cope in a highly competitive global arena? While efforts of the present and previous government to boost the quality of learning in higher and vocational education must be appreciated, policymakers ought not to ignore early childhood education and primary schooling, the phases during which the most important cognitive development milestones are attained. The tenth Annual Status of Education Report found that in 2014 the proportion of Class 3 and Class 5 students in rural areas who could read a Class 2 textbook was 23.6 and 48.1 per cent, respectively. Until Activity-Based Learning and “teaching at the right level”, tools for real learning and skill-absorption, become the norm, hopes of the country becoming a great power may well remain a dream.”
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