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  1. 1. Manthan Topic: STEPPING STONES IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF PRIMARY EDUCATION An equal start to every child… S. Parthasarathy, G. Chidambaram, R. Venugopal, J. Kiran Kumar & M. Lakshmi Kanthan Sri Sairam Engineering College, Chennai.
  2. 2. Gross enrollment of children into primary schools is as high as 95% in some states… But the dropout rate is around 58% !!! • Less than 40% of students from 4th grade are able to read 3rd grade text fluently. • Less than 9% students of grade 4 can answer a synthesized question. • Considerable fall in Teacher-Student ratio in many states and the quality of teaching is no good. • Poor Quality education – an important force driving dropout. • Inadequate Teacher Training Programs – or are they outdated? • Though RTE implemented in states, financial reasons restrict a quality education. The roadblocks to equity in quality education… • In most cases, teachers do not even turn up to classes. • Negligence in monitoring school activities. • Poor sanitary conditions in many remote schools. • Education restricted to rote learning – no holistic approach!
  3. 3. SOLUTIONS TO QUALITY EDUCATION 1.STRUCTURAL REFORMATION OF EDUCATION • Yes to Macaulayism and no to Metaphysics? • Major Structural reformation is required. • Primary education (grades 1 – 8) can be divided into three core blocks of learning: 1. Formal Learning 2. Informal Learning 3.Cultural Learning • Revision of subject syllabus for every 2 years (as against the current practice of once in every 4 years) – A Dynamic Syllabus. • A friendly book – a book that interacts with the students would do. • Real-time national projects by the Government to kindle Science & Tech study in primary schools. • A wholesome evaluation system – Examinations evaluating students’ creativity apart from their memory.
  4. 4. GRADES FORMAL LEARNING INFORMAL LEARNING CULTURAL LEARNING 1-3 Interactive education, Intelligent materials, ‘Speaking’ books. Playtime, Sleeping Hours – compulsory, Interaction with other children. Storytelling, Artwork modules, Cultural awareness. 4-6 Interactive education, Seminars, Indirect query techniques, building basics – numerals & words. Workshops, E4 labs, Awareness on issues, Physical training. Fine arts, Modules for crafting, Cultural building. 7-8 Interactive learning, GD’s, Quizzing sessions, Seminars. E4 labs, Initiation works, Physical training. Art & Literature work-outs, Advanced modules, Cultural refinement. BLOCKS OF PRIMARY EDUCATION
  5. 5. 2. QUALITY TEACHING • A good apprentice is the best teacher! • Problems faced – 1. Poor knowledge 2. Poor Deliverance 3. Poor EQ (Emotional Quotient) 4. Absenteeism & Lethargy 5. Monotony 6. Overworking Poor knowledgeMonotony Overworking Lethargy Poor Deliverance Absenteeism Poor EQ No motivation
  6. 6. PROBLEMS SOLUTION Poor Deliverance Teacher-Teacher interactions, seminars Poor EQ Student-Teacher interactions, EQ Workshops Monotony Difference in coaching, Activity learning Lack of motivation Decent remuneration and performance boosters Absenteeism Daily attendance for teachers, cut in pay, severe measures Overworking Teachers are only for teaching… 2. QUALITY TEACHING
  7. 7. 3. HOLISTIC EDUCATION – beyond the horizon… The E4 LAB (GRADE 4 – 8) • ENVIRONMENT – ENTREPRENEURSHIP – ELOQUENCE – EMOTION LAB • Environment Lab – Study on Agriculture & crop patterns in India, plant labs, Sapling planting, Awareness programs, Seminars, collaboration with NGO’s like EXNORA in activities, etc. • Entrepreneurship Lab – Simulation of management environment, Leadership tasks, Management games, Group tasks, Team spirit, Supportive videotapes, movies, articles – explained in students’ words. • Eloquence Lab – language training (Mother tongue, Lingua franca – English and another language of the Student’s choice), storytelling, mock plays, drama & skits, Interpersonal & soft skill honing. • Emotion Lab – Social relation building, related visual materials, enacting of emotions, plays, simulation of situations – like fight between friends & how to resolve them, etc.
  8. 8. TEACHER AUDITING • Continuous monitoring of teacher quality in primary schools by Govt. • Setting up a body under the District Collector to monitor quality in primary education – probably, the Indian Teaching Services (ITS)? – A structure as below - ITS Officer Zone 1 officer Consolidator 2 Zone n OfficerZone 2 Officer Consolidator 1 Interaction Committee Panel of teachers School 1 – Mgmt. Rep. School 2 – Govt. Rep. Panel of teachers School 2 – Mgmt. Rep. School 1 – Govt. Rep. District Collector
  9. 9. ITS – INDIAN TEACHING SERVICES • A monthly reporting body under the District Collector. • Testing eligible candidates for ITS under UPSC? (probably) • ITS officers – ultimate enforcers of quality education in districts and answerable to Collectors. What is the process flow? – Speeding up Educational Justice! • Monitoring of Educational activities in schools by Teachers’ committee & Interactive committee. • Monthly Reporting to a Teacher Representative & Government Representative. • Inspection of the assigned school by Govt. rep. for verification of facts. • Submitting monthly reports to the Zonal officers for Primary education. • Verifying, authenticating & passing on, the report to Consolidating Officers. • Consolidating officers prioritize grievances, queries, utility requirements in the order of urgency. Submitted to ITS officer. • ITS officer reporting to District collector, getting approval & taking action at the earliest…!
  10. 10. TEACHER MOOTS • Current testing is static – a more dynamic testing is required. • The eligibility tests conducted by DoPT should give equal importance to Interpersonal skills. • A weekly Teacher moot should be convened every weekend in primary schools. • Periodic feedback from students reg. coaching in class as one input for teacher moot. • Points of discussion in weekly meet: 1. New topics, new ideas 2. Interesting student response & behavior 3. Grievances & Solutions 4. Discussion on students’ ideas 5. Implementation of Student Ideas 6. Encouragement of Fellow teachers’ positive ideals 7. Debate on teaching methods 8. Updates on new teaching trends. • Teachers moot instrumental in updating school libraries with latest books relating to primary education.
  11. 11. STUDENT ENTREPRENEURS & MEETING FINANCIAL CRISIS • Like TJ’s (Products manufactured by inmates of Tihar Jail), • Student products can be marketed - One idea to meet the financial constraints in offering quality education. • Crafted items, paintings, voice recordings of rhymes, songs, seminar videos of basic subjects by students can be marketed – the profit can be effectively used. • Improves entrepreneurship skills of students and raises funds. • India has spent around 3.1% of its GDP in primary education in 2006 (a very small figure). • Central govt.’s contribution in RTE – 68%, State Govt.’s contribution – 32%; still some states feel difficult to meet the financial expenses. Other fundraisers? • Funds from more organizations like ITC • Organizations adopting primary schools • Cooperative groups in villages • Public fundraisers, etc.
  12. 12. REFERENCES 1. INSIDE PRIMARY SCHOOLS: A STUDY OF TEACHING AND LEARNING IN RURAL INDIA - Suman Bhattacharjea, Wilima Wadhwa & Rukmini Banerji . 2. Decolonizing the Indian Mind- Keynote address delivered on February 18, 2001 at the National Seminar on Decolonizing English Education, Department of English, North Gujarat University, Patan (Gujarat, India). 3. Bloomberg BusinessWeek Magazine – India – may 30, 2004. 4. Poor sanitary conditions in Kanpur schools - 30/kanpur/32941336_1_primary-schools-prathmik-vidyalaya-education- authorities. 5. District Information System for Education (DISE). 6. 7. Thirukkural – Porutpaal – Kalvi 8. Making Learning Fun – paper plate models - 9. International Human Development Indicators – UNDP – India - 10. Quality in Primary & Secondary Education – Quality Tools for teachers – ASQ. 11. Ministry of HRD – India - 12. National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) - 13. SCHOOL The World -
  13. 13. Transcending Times & Traveling Beyond the Horizons… Tested by the tides of time… Tasted by the wraths of evil… Wasted are the times… Wasted is the wisdom… Muster your courage; Foster child education… Primary Education – Towards a sagacious Civility… THANK YOU!