On 18th July, 2020, the You Can Foundation organized a webinar on their ongoing series “changing dynamics of the education sector. This was their fourth episode of the series. The session had four panelists. Ms. Saher M.A Syed, principal of Hamdard public school (delhi), Dr. Aruna Wadkar, educationist, Dr. BB Mahata, principal of SRMP Nootan (Gujrat) and Mr Mohammad Imran, principal of IIPS Riyadh (KSA).
The moderator for the panel discussion was Monis Shamsi, founder of you can foundation. After introducing all the panelists, the moderator started the session by asking a very fundamental question from all the panelists, “what is education to you?”.
Ms. Saher talked about how there has been a paradigm shift in education. We can learn something from a toddler, a teenager or an adult. Dr Aruna said education is a life-long learning. She mentions how education has played a huge role in her life. Once she went into the teaching field, she realized that this is where she belongs. Mr. Imran said that the core value of education is bringing out the best in children. With change in political and social life, education has also evolved over the years.
The moderator then asked Ms. Saher if the student centric learning is possible in small budget schools. Ms. Saher responded by saying, yes, it is very much possible. Every education board, be it CBSE, ICSE or state boards, give importance to student centric education. It doesn’t matter if it’s a low budget, medium budget or high budget school.
Moving on to Dr Aruna, the moderator asked if it is practically possible to implement a student centric education. Dr Aruna answers, yes, it is possible, but the question arises if are teachers are fully equipped and are trained to implement this system. There are many aspects which comes under student centric learning, every aspect has to be covered for the proper implementation of the learning system.
Talking about why we are not able to apply experiential learning in our schooling system, Mr. Imran says, that firstly, teachers have to be passionate about the field they are working in. The second thing is that they have to sure of the learning outcomes they will be taking from the lesson.
When asked about the lack of space for reflection in classrooms, Ms. Saher said that there is space, we just have to identify it. We have to endorse skill-based learning. Moving on to Dr Mahata, the moderator raised a very important question of why many people are still not opting for education sector as a career. Dr Mahata reflected that there was a time when people in the education sector were highly respected in the society. Nowadays people only join the education sector when they can’t find job anywhere else.
The moderator asked the panelist to identify 3 skills that in the coming future would be very vital for a teacher to acquire. Dr Aruna said, that they need to have a better classroom management. Lessen plans need to be clear and there needs to be a unique teaching approach especially now, since now the teaching is being done in a virtual mode. According to Mr Imran, emotional intelligence is very important and needs to be developed in children. We need to build a conditioning environment in classrooms. Mr Mahata says that teachers should be aware of their roles and be mentally prepared. They should also have control over their emotions. Ms Saher mentions that the teacher has to be adaptable and resilient.
The session concluded with moderator thanking all the panelist and the participants for joining in the session. You Can Foundation, founded in 2013, is an NGO that was started with the vision of empowering the youth by providing them volunteering and learning opportunities in the development sector.
Voice of Margin on many occasions has collaborated with the You Can Foundation.