There is a need for a quantum leap to make the Indian education system’s delivery and evaluation future-proof in the post-pandemic era, according to experts. More power to teachers, upskilling teachers with annual evaluation, setting up of a national e-school, and fortifying public schools, are among the recommendations made by experts during a round table discussion organised by “Think Change Forum”, a think tank.
“When we plan our evaluation system, we have to be very clear on the need for balancing the academic quotient with other life skills like problem-solving ability, creativity, and innovation. Our evaluation system of the future should be outcome-centric and not output-driven,” said noted educationist Gowri Ishwaran. Col Gopal Karunakaran, CEO Shiv Nadar School, echoed Ishwaran’s views saying, ”The fundamental question of assessment is deeply connected with what we value as a nation. We have to assess the emotional intelligence, social intelligence, and now in the pandemic, physical health and the adversity quotient of the students.” ”I believe the evaluation system should be a mix of academic evaluation and the evaluation of these personality quotients,” he said.
Highlighting the government’s response to the pandemic, Harsh Kumar, Secretary NCERT said an alternative calendar for primary and secondary classes was rolled out within two weeks of the pandemic. “Various apps were developed and released on the website of NCERT, along with this, educative videos and online classes for all classes from 1-12 under PM e-VIDYA were launched. Online counselling by experts under MANODARPAN is being conducted. The government machinery is in full swing to implement the National Education Policy in letter and spirit,” he said.
While agreeing upon the teaching and learning challenges due to the sudden switch to the online classes Rajib Dasgupta, Professor and Chairperson, Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University said, “The dialogue around how to reopen the schools is important now as the switch to online education has been really difficult and unsatisfactory, as we were not used to it.” ”There is a lot of recalibrating and rethinking that the school education has to go through in purely epidemiological term,” Dasgupta said.