By Prarthana Mitra
In order to bring about a much-needed update to the Indian education system, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) recently announced its revolutionary plans to change the way students in receive education in schools.
It has proposed to curtail academic pressure and unnecessary information by slashing the syllabus to half, following an addition of value education and life skill lessons to the curriculum. The volume of sports, physical education, and extracurricular activities are also likely to increase.
Here’s what happened
Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Prakash Javadekar, reportedly announced at a recent press conference, the government’s decision to cut out half of the current syllabus of NCERT.
“Education is not just memorising and putting it down in [the] answer sheet. Education is comprehensive. To put to use one’s cognitive and analytical abilities—that is true education,” he said.
Other systemic changes will be incorporated, based on thousands of suggestions that the ministry has received. These will include a greater stress on sports and life skills. To inculcate the habit of reading in school children from a young age, centrally-aided schools will receive library grants up to Rs. 20,000, besides grants worth Rs. 25,000 for sports equipment, according to the HRD Minister.
Preparedness for the real world
The idea is to groom students for the ‘real world’ which dispenses theoretical knowledge while also and making them more competent to deal with practical problems. The revamped system also takes into account the inordinate pressure that rote learning places on students, and hopes to frame a skeletal syllabus in keeping with world standards. Students in the new system will be considerably unburdened as better evaluation methods will be implemented in place of the dreaded biannual examinations.
The new syllabus will also focus on teaching students crucial life skills. According to Julie Lythcott-Haims, former dean of Stanford University, every high school student must learn a few basic skills to navigate through life, including how to handle interpersonal problems, risk and money management, mental health and gender sensitisation, besides other practical concerns that students encounter beyond the scholastic threshold, and later grapple with in adult life.
The draft for the new National Education Policy will be tabled before the Union Cabinet at the end of this month, reported the Press Trust of India.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.