Teachers play an important role in the development of society. Ever since ancient times, the position of teachers has always been considered sacred and second only to parents. The 'job' of a teacher is that of being the architect of the future generation; hence they are the ones who help by keeping the world on the right path. The role of teachers is more important today than ever before, as we are living in a generation that is dynamic in its very being. With modern technology, the role of a teacher has enhanced as a facilitator. There has been innovation in various aspects of teaching as well, and the focus should be on skill development, decision-making, empathy, and real issues.
Update, upgrade and implement with digitisation
One of the undeniable changes happening all around is the digitisation of every aspect of human society. The interaction between human and machines is on a rise and we are slowly entering into a world where the machine is phasing out various sides of regular work that involves human interaction. However, if we are to treat teaching as one of these aspects, we will be making a serious mistake in the long run. While videos, tutorials and various resources available through the internet can teach facts to children, it is only a human teacher who can teach them how to become a better version of themselves in the future.
Instead of replacing teachers with these artificial learning tools and apps, what we need to do is arm them with the latest technology so that they can deliver results better through teaching.
Innovation with pedagogy
The teaching-learning process needs to have its attention on the learner. It needs to be more learner-oriented, and it needs to encourage curiosity rather than suppressing it. Flipped classrooms, where project-based learning, learning through dance, music, theatre, and other art forms, and even global projects are common, should become more mainstream. Language skills and personality is shaped through theatre, and we have seen how musicians show unbelievable analytical skills.
Knowledge exchange and collaboration
The onus of providing the right education has shifted from being completely on the teachers and within the boundaries of the classroom. Our society needs to join in as well. There must be better collaboration to exchange ideas and knowledge. Learning needs to be a more involved process that takes into consideration even the staff rooms.
One big criticism of the education system has been that real issues are often done away with. The hushed tone must go away. There is no way we can keep our children shielded from information any longer. Hence, it is important that we take up the onus of providing them with the right information at the right time. The teachers and parents, and any person the children communicate with regularly will have to offer children with the right information, and not the ones that have been modified to suit particular needs. Moreover, we need to teach children about our complete history, and not just the ones that happened till 1947. Indeed, the year of independence holds a special meaning and place, but we have passed over 70 years since then. It is time that we start considering these years while preparing the course for history.
Focus on the environment
We are a generation that is faced with an unprecedented task - to protect the environment. The present pollution and water crisis has made it abundantly clear that no longer can we have 'environment' as one of the additional subjects being taught at school; instead, it is high time that we start considering Environment Studies as an essential subject, and teach the same to our children. As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) index, in terms of PM 2.5 concentration, our nation has 14 of the 15 most polluted cities across the globe. We need not guess the leader since Delhi has been in the headlines for a long time due to its worse air quality level. In this current scenario, it is redundant to mention that our children are under the highest threat of environmental pollution. Hence, the country needs to rise and say, “I have #MyRightToBreathe ” and create a safer world for our children.
(The author is director, Seth MR Jaipuria Schools)