Sunday, January 18, 2015



Education aims at preparing children for the future. Future is always inclusive of materialistic guesstimate. Without materialistic development, one cannot live in this world, though that itself is not the end. Therefore, a combination of materialistic and ethical competency is necessary for even growth to any child. Balanced growth lies in the stability of the two. As societal needs cannot be ignored, duty of education is to prepare the children to meet the societal needs in an evenly phased manner. Future depends on the standard of education that a child receives. Moreover, no one can ignore the three basic needs - food, shelter and clothe. With these basic needs, today we are habituated for three more basic or non-basic but inevitable needs - health, education and entertainment. As health and education, entertainment also plays vital role in determining the standard and desires of an individual in particular and society in general. Therefore, school being the primary habit formation center next to family has the significant and imperative role to play in inculcating such skills that are necessary for facing the future with courage and confidence.  Whatever are the needs and desires of the society and the future predictions of a nation or a state that must find place in school curriculum directly or indirectly. Not changing the curriculum for a long period or not attending to present needs and future predictions would only weaken the school system. Yes, it is true that one cannot make the child all pervasive in 10 or 12 years of school life but one could certainly make the child aware of these facts during school career.  

If we take the schools’ outcome, of course with sincere exceptions, a large number of schools remain below the standard and particularly the governmental efforts. Schools prepare the students for the examinations and not for facing the future. School activities are mechanical, non-creative and boring. Changing the curriculum and implementation are neither in the hands of the teachers nor within the purview of the school administration. More particularly schools under government administration have no autonomy to develop their own curriculum in accordance with the societal needs. Private and public schools are somewhat independent in this respect and they develop their own syllabi and implement the same within the purview of the educational policy of the state or the center concerned.

Governments, center or state talk about curriculum change but implementation is always delayed due to extraordinary paper movement and political controversies. When they implement new or modified curriculum after long debate and political settlement, the ground situation would be entirely different that may not be conducive for the modified curriculum. Moreover, in a country like India, which is both democratic and secular, curriculum changes often caught into fires for political reasons that overlooks or diverts the debate for reasons known to the policy approvers - the legislators alone.

In these circumstances, it is inevitable for the local administrators of the schools to develop their own strategy to meet the societal needs and the desires of the students as well to make the classroom activity more interesting and rewarding. Engaging the pupils in a creative and productive way would solve this problem to some extend though not completely edit out. Let us discuss two such classroom strategies that help us to compensate this lacuna.

Live Interaction: Teachers without any formal training can develop in them the skill of live interaction with the students. We all know that teaching is nothing but an interaction between the teacher and the taught. Interaction is a sort of two-way communication (at a given time and multi-way communication in a span of time) with all possible multi-directions that engages both. This interaction must be different from routine classroom teaching, basing on prescribed topics or lessons. Have a glance of the curriculum of a particular class and comprehend the objectives of the same. Then prepare a plan of action without deviating from those envisaged objectives. This plan of action must be inclusive of both text preparation and general awareness of the students. Independent and thinking level interaction is possible in higher classes whereas memory and imitative level interaction would help engage the students in lower classes. The important aspect of this purposive interaction is selection of a topic and relating the same with the existing curriculum. However, this interactive process may not be practicable as a daily communication strategy but this would help the students to develop their common sense, broaden communicative base and increase rational thinking ability. This interactive exercise will also help them to visualize the future needs and predictable solutions.

Developing Inter-personal Relationship: In this era of Information Technology, education is being brought to the doorsteps of the learner. Still face-to-face mode enjoys its significance due to its human touch. Acquisition of mere knowledge is possible in any mode but acquiring something with well-established human touch has its own implications. Departing from the routine exam-oriented teaching-learning activity, few hours are to be spent for developing harmonious inter-personal relationship among the students, as this only helps them to uphold secularism or whatever is the common objective of a nation or a society. Accepting ones own mistakes and failures are the first step towards developing a strong human relationship. Second comes the quality of tolerance and appreciation. If one becomes acclimatized to tolerating others growth and appreciates the same, then this certainly would accelerate inter-personal relationship. Teachers being the facilitators of all round growth of the children and the initiators of all school activities must pay attention towards this goal. Scores of activities can be thought of and organized or initiated as and when the situation warrants.

Live interaction and inter-personal relationship are inter-dependent. Certainly one overlaps the other if initiated in a school situation and that is intended too. Even lessons can also be taught through these two live approaches without holding back the regular activities. Therefore, we, the teachers can synthesize these two approaches in a classroom situation and effectively implement them both as a leisure time strategy and regular teaching activity.


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