A Few Pedagogical Changes Focused in National Education Policy 2020

✍ A. Laxmana Rao

The National Education Policy 2020 envisions as Bharat Centered Education system to transform our nation sustainably into an equitable and vibrant knowledge society, by providing high quality education to all.

To achieve this, proper implementation of the policy focus points plays crucial role. There are so many areas to be strengthened for this. Curriculum, syllabus and textbooks along with teacher training materials and modules are essentially prepared by keeping the focus points of the policy.

A universally acceptable focus point is preference to Early Childhood Care and Education. Focus on ECCE is helpful for children to grow up good, moral, thoughtful, creative, empathetic, and productive human beings. Children enrolled in Primary Schools are failing to attain even basic skills such as foundational literacy and numeracy. At this stage, classroom process must be toy based, activity based, holistic, play based, involving art, dot-connecting drawings, stories, poetry or rhymes of Bharat Centric, songs of local relevance to the students and teachers, folding and toys making with paper, coloring, shaping, movement of both gross motor and fine motor skills, puzzles, riddles, logic improvement are suggested for pedagogical areas.

These are rightly understood by the teachers teach in Early Childhood Care and Education level that is the first stage which foundational. Up to second grade, there are five classes which will be divided into 3+2. A special training is essential to these teachers. National Council of Educational Research and Training, New Delhi will prepare some guidelines to train even the parents also. All the stakeholders have to participate in the training so as to make the schools run in a right way.

All the classrooms create atmosphere to the students to learn joyfully. Joyful learning is the significant recommendation made in the National Education Policy which encourages students to involve in the teaching learning process with interest. Some activities are designed and organized in the classroom based on the needs and interest of the students. Learning process in the classroom is more experiential rather than passive listening to the teachers. This is learning by doing. How it is applicable to different classes and different subjects is to be worked out clearly. Classroom process is normally teacher centric but it is supposed to shift to learner centric. It is interactive in approach. Students respond the questions asked by the teacher or by other students also. Some inputs are needed to make the students interactive in the classroom.

All the teachers have to identify the learning outcomes based on the lesson given in the textbooks and plan to design activities. Whole class activities, group activities, pair activities or individual activities are conducted in the classroom so as to make the teaching-learning process an activity-based learning. If the teaching-learning process is activity-based, students participate with interest and their involvement may be increased and it leads to engaged in learning.

Classroom is a combination of various students, some may be from sophisticated families, some may be from middle class and some other may be from deprived groups. In a classroom some students may be slow learners and some may be physically or mentally challenged. Teachers understand this in a right way and design activities to make all the students take part in learning process. No students are excluded from the teaching-learning process. Thus, every classroom should be inclusive.  In the vision of the National Education Policy, it clearly says the high-quality education should be provided to all.

The important recommendation of the Policy is to take up holistic learning. As per western philosophy, Cognitive domain, affective domain and psychomotor domain are to be developed but Bharatiya philosophy says that education is to nurture all the five sheaths viz., Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vignanamaya and Anandamaya sheaths (Kosha). To nurture these sheaths, Physical activities, Yoga, Music, Sanskrit and Value education or moral Education, the Naitik & Adhyatmik activities are essentially planned and implemented.

In some schools, a few teachers follow inquiry based and discovery-based learning in the classroom process. Giving inputs, activities, surveys, interviews, conversations to collect information from various sources such as magazines, books, newspapers and even from google and so on. Students learn new concepts by inquiry and discovery. This leads to improve self-study.

Teaching-learning process is not static, it is dynamic which means always gets changes. So, teachers have to update and upgrade themselves to become fit to teach the existing twenty first century students with twenty-first century skills. Classroom work should be in groups or so that the students share their understanding and knowledge with others. They come to a conclusion based on the discussions.

Teachers give priority to nurture and improve 21st century skills such as communication skills, collaborative learning, critical thinking, creative thinking in the classroom process by posing such questions and providing opportunity to the students to acquire these by practice. Discussion oriented learning process in the classroom instead of explaining the concepts by the teacher makes the students learn more.

Teachers follow the new pedagogical strategies such as read and reflection, group tasks, pair works, conducting seminars by students based on the textual content, dramatization, quiz programmes on the textual areas, press conferences, mind mapping or concept mapping, mock parliament or any other mock activities, field trips or field visits, conducting interviews, debates, story-telling, narrations, pictorial stories, stories with illustrations, mono actions, art, drawing, painting, coloring labeling and so on are to be taken up in the classroom process.

If the text book content is not Bharat Centric, the teachers have to take Bharatiya Knowledge Systems to integrate with and discuss. Contribution of Bharatiya Scientists and Sages to Mathematics, Sciences and Other areas is expected to be brought in to classroom and discuss. Thus, the students feel proud to be Bharatiyas which is expected by the National Education Policy.

(Author is educationist and Mantri of Vidya Bharati Dakshin Madhya kshetra.)



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