‘Tuitions are undesirable’

 Prof Dr Harish Chaudhry, IIT  Delhi

Prof Dr Harish Chaudhry, IIT Delhi

12 October 2011, Wednesday

Delhi IIT’s Prof Dr Harish Chaudhry talks to SANGEETA YADAV about the third international annual convention conference slated for December


Tell us about the theme of the convention?
The education system is resonating the same way as the nation. Accountable and goal-obsessed leadership is the need of the hour. There are immense possibilities of innovation in classroom transaction within the given regulatory, curricular and socio-economic context. The conference will showcase some ‘small step, big ticket’ possibilities. The event will take place in IIT Delhi from December 29 to 31, 2011.

What about the topics which will be up for discussion?
Developing leadership thoughts and effective on-ground implementation amongst principals, teachers, students and school management will be the focal points of the event.

What are the changes you have observed in the education sector?
Value education classes are being held in schools because family and community support has weakened. Schools want to foster good values among the students so as to prevent them from indulging in indiscipline and bullying.
Multiple intelligence development involves teaching various disciplines of thinking to students. Students must be trained to think scientifically, historically, artistically, ethically and mathematically. Our education sector should ensure that no child is left behind in academic accomplishment in the fast emerging knowledge society (which has a far higher baseline need for academic credentials).

Indian education has become commercialised…
Tuition and coaching are totally undesirable and harmful as they kill a student’s ability to inquire, discover, think and learn. They eat away critical time, energy and focus.

What are some of the qualities and skills which are lacking in today’s educationists?
There is crowding everywhere — no one has time for a child. The teachers are not well-read. We were never a reading society but the situation has worsened now. Students are not reading. There is focus on rote learning because academic achievement and interests among teachers is less than desired.

Recently, you said that school education hasn’t received a formal training opportunity like corporates…
Unlike corporates, continuous training and upgradation are almost missing in school education. In fact, there are no formal and proper academic appraisal systems in schools. To top it all, there is no formal or informal sustained leadership certification for schools (like MBA for corporates). Incidentally, one cannot be a school principal unless one gets a university education for the same in almost all developed countries.

How is the Indian education system different from foreign education system?
The foreign education system lays great emphasis on quality and dedication of teachers, continuous and significant amount of innovations at work, ground research and development of theoretical frameworks.

Where does our education sector lack?
What is glaringly missing is the lack of appreciation of the fact of ‘new kids on the block’ and innovative steps at empowering the children to self-help. The entire talk around change in school is around smart classes, teachers, schools, parents and comprehensive and continuous assessment rather than smart students.

How has technology impacted the education sector?
Technology has empowered students with powerful self-learning resources. Quality education has become accessible to students. World-class coaching services for all competitive exams are within the economic reach of every student.


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