Ms. Poonam Arora, Principal – Bombay Cambridge International School, Andheri West
‘There is no end education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning’.
Today these words of J. Krishnamurti hold more truth in the education sector than ever before.
The two years of online schooling brought to light the fact that knowledge can be gained through technology but social emotional development of our young learners needs the support of educators who sculpt their minds to evince curiosity, to develop awareness and sensitivity towards their peers as well as their environment, to work in collaboration and communicate effectively thus preparing them with the 21st century skills. Once the fire or hunger for learning has been activated then the teacher is just a facilitator who scaffolds the learner and the learner takes responsibility for his/her own learning.
These life skills build abilities for adaptive and positive behaviors that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. Childhood and adolescence are the developmental periods during which one acquires these skills through experiences and situations in one’s environment and we as educators can impact that environment with our professional expertise, sensitivity and responsiveness to all the children. A happy and safe environment where each child gets an opportunity to blossom into a wholesome personality, ready to take life’s challenges with zest and enthusiasm should be the endeavor of every educator. True education leads to knowledge of self, realizing choices and in developing awareness about one’s identity. If we are successful in teaching a child’s mind to fly, the concept of mental limitations will become obsolete. If the individual difference or the ‘uniqueness’ of each child is respected, all boundaries will dissolve and our learners will move out of the confines of ‘watertight compartments’ and that will be the essences of true education. The schools today need to innovate with ideas for student engagement at every level, be it sports, academics or the social-emotional learning. Excellence in academics is not the only measure for students’ success, but also in grooming children to be fine human beings who value relationships. Exposure to technology and a wide range of activities will instill a global outlook in them and yet retain the essence of one’s own culture. Then we will be able to perfectly blend the scientific temperament and social-emotional relationships, leading to a spiritual synthesis of a Global Community which is the need of the hour.
The new NEP when implemented across the length and breadth of the nation in its true spirit will create such a community where our learners will be able to carve a niche for themselves as per their ability and interest rather than being driven by families and schools in a bid to create ‘successful individuals’ pun intended.
We need to respect their choices and as they say …success will follow you, you don’t need to run after success’.
As educators, let’s all ensure that we create a supportive learning environment and the teacher, and the child learn together to help our children maneuver the ladder of success at their own pace. Let their learning be a process – a learning for life – and as educators let’s learn with them and make this experience a joyful one.