Global education in Indian context


Kala Mohan
Academic Advisor and Senior Consultant

Global Education is a creative approach of bringing about change in our society. It is an active learning process based on the universal values of tolerance, solidarity, equality, justice, inclusion, co-operation and non-violence. Here’s more.

In this fast-paced world, global education is not only important but essential. But, our native schools are still not geared up to adopt it. So, what can schools do to adopt these processes, let’s find out.

Q: How can you define the idea of “Global Education?” What do you think are the basic attributes of “Global Education?”

Kala: In my opinion, Global Education is a creative approach of bringing about change in our society. It is an active learning process based on the universal values of tolerance, solidarity, equality, justice, inclusion, co-operation and non-violence.

Global Education begins with raising awareness of global challenges such as poverty, uneven distribution of resources, environmental degradation, violent conflicts and creates deeper understanding of the complexity of the underlying causes.

Global Education motivates and empowers people to become active & responsible global citizens.

Global Education addresses:

  • Global Justice
  • Human Rights
  • Sustainability
  • Peace
  • Intercultural Communication

Global Education applies methodological approaches that are:

  • Learner-centered
  • Participatory
  • Partnership based: the educator is not a teacher but is a learner as well. It addresses, in the learning process, reflection (head), emotions (heart) and activity (hand).
  • Experience-based
  • Self learningGlobal Education is a process, which:
  • Begins with raising awareness of certain problems.
  • Then creates a deeper understanding of the complex underlying issues.
  • Encourages people to reflect on their own role in the problem, and therefore change their attitudes and behavior.
  • Motivates and empowers people to become active in a responsible way.

Q: As ‘global education’ brings with it a number of thought ingredients which are not aligned or concurrent to local cultures, what kind of impact it could cause on local and native thoughts and cultures – both positive and negative?

Kala: It is a widely defined word with several connotations to many different people. Some people believe globalization is a dangerous phenomenon, which has changed the world in negative ways. On the other hand, another group regard it as a fruitful phenomenon, making the world more connected and informed than ever before.

It is obvious that the impact of globalization has been both positive and negative in the sector of education, some of them are:

  • It has especially transformed the world economy which has become increasingly inter-connected and inter-dependent. At the same time, it has also made the world economy increasingly competitive and more knowledge based.
  • It also interconnects methods of teaching from worldwide systems to encourage the international development of environmental sustainability.
  • Globalization and education both are preparing young people for successful futures, which in turn will make their nations grow.
  • The ability to be more familiar and comfortable with abstract concepts and uncertain situations.
  • Globalization uses a holistic approach to the problems. The interdisciplinary research approaches are seen as critical to achieve a more comprehensive understanding to the complex reality.
  • Globalization enhances the student’s ability to acquire and utilize knowledge, the ability to access, adopt, and apply knowledge, to think independently to exercise appropriate judgment of new situations.
  • Globalization produces an increased quantity of scientifically and technically trained persons.
  • It encourages students to work in teams, which requires students to develop skills like in-group dynamics, compromise, debate, persuasion, organization, besides leadership and management skills.
  • Globalization uses advanced information and communications technologies that aid teachers and students in breaking boundaries of space and time.
  • Globalization meets the knowledge, education and learning challenges and opportunities of the Information Age.
  • Globalization creates and supports the exchange of ideas and experiences in the use of educational technologies.
  • Globalization encourages explorations of information technologies and communications for more effective learning.
  • Global sharing of knowledge, skills, and intellectual assets are necessary for multiple developments at different levels.
  • Creating values and enhancing efficiency through the global sharing.
  • Promoting international understanding, collaboration, harmony, and acceptance to cultural diversity across countries and regions.
  • Facilitating communications, interactions, and encouraging multi-cultural contributions at different levels among countries.
  • The potential fallback of globalization in education can be the increased technological gaps and digital divides between developed and less developed countries.

The negative impact of the Global Education is of course visible in the Indian society in terms of increasing level of crime and erosion of our age-old and well-cherished Indian cultural values; most of our youth are sometimes involved in various activities which were not heard before.

Q: What precautions do you think the institutions nurturing global education systems should take to overcome negative impacts?

Kala MohanKala: With globalization, new attitudes and values are coming into force. People need to learn new concepts and have to adopt new ways of life. However, change is impossible without learning, just as learning is impossible without change. I realize that there is the need for a new form of education in today’s society.

The following precautions should be taken up by the institutions:

  • Access to a quality education to all sectors of the population.
  • Develop programs that support “socio-economically at-risk boys, girls, youth and adults.”
  • An educational policy should be promoted that considers human rights, education for peace and democratic values, equality of opportunity and rights between men and women, and gender equality.
  • Develop collaboration of institutions dedicated to educational development as related to citizenship, multicultural societies and sustainable development.
  • Promote the consolidation and collaboration of institutions dedicated to indigenous education.
  • Provide support for the development of the educational systems of countries with especially difficult economic circumstances.
  • According to new perspectives of global learning, teacher education program will have to be designed.
  • Schools should organize various activities to equip students for Digital Citizenship & Internet Maturity.
  • Life skills, peace education, learning to live and respect each other, community outreach programs must be included or integrated in the regular syllabus.

“Let’s be honest to our civilisation, that’s the globalisation.”

Q: Do you think that native education systems are good enough to give all the ingredients to compete in global markets and if required, what suggestions would you give to enrich the native systems to rise up to global standards?

Kala: I don’t think the native education systems are good enough to do justice with competitive Global Education. We have elite schools, municipality schools, madarsas, missionary schools, trust/society running schools, budget schools, low cost schools… the list is endless. That’s why there is no uniformity in school deliverables, as the students are not having equal access to compete with the demands and challenges of global market.

Here are a few suggestions to improve the native education system:

1. Flipped classroom model: In flip teaching, the student first studies the topic by himself, typically using video lessons created by the instructor or shared by another educator. In the classroom, the pupil then tries to apply the knowledge by solving problems and doing practical work. It works because it has more interaction and less lecturing, as we need more conversations rather than monologues to inspire kids into the habit of learning.

2. Students can learn according to their own pace: The current model is very inefficient, especially when a student fails to understand a very basic concept at the beginning of the lecture, and the whole of the remaining lecture is based on that concept. In flipped teaching model, every student gets ample time at home to understand the contents before the class. Teachers will have more time in clearing the doubts of the students.

3. Nurture creativity in classrooms: The present educational system hampers the creativity of the students by exposing the students to the contents of the lecture and ideas of other students, without giving them any time to think about the topic.

4. Introvert students should be given their space: Most of today’s classroom learning revolves on group activities, which restricts the space the introverts need to grow as an individual. Individual assignments gives introverts the much-needed space to EXPLORE their ideation and thoughts.

5. Identity skillsets: After the 6th standard, students should go through a bunch of “skill identification” tests to find out what they are good at. It is not about pass/fail, but finding the relative order of skills.

6. Apprenticeship: Allocate one hour a day of school for students to work on this skill under the tutelage of a mentor. They do real work and get real feedback.

7. Track, monitor, and assign more tasks: Their progress will also be tracked by a central system and that might recommend more fine tuned skills based on their performance. Students acquire valuable skills that their books can never teach.

8. If students are stuck, change path: For every semester, students should be able to switch a new career path. This way, they try with a number of different careers before they are even 17.

9. Keep increasing the work time: For each year, increase the time spent at the skill by 1 hour. For instance, in 7th standard the students will spend 2 hours a day, in 8th – 3 hours a day and so on. By the time they come to 12th, work will be more than 80% of the school time.

10. Create companies: Entrepreneurship should be a basic thing that everyone should experience. If pupil shows good work skills, they could go to the next stage. Instead of reading about programming from a dry text, the students would be working on increasingly challenging real life programming tasks under the careful guidance of a mentor.

Q: Given the fact that the basic tenets of knowledge are uniform in every part of the world, what kind of differences do you foresee between the methods of native education systems and those of global systems?

Kala: Conventionally, education has been understood as preparation for life, as personal realisation, and as an essential element in progress and social change, in accordance with changing needs.

There should be school level changes, such as:

  • Focus on know-how: India severely lacks when it comes to practical knowledge or testing how much a child knows, not theoretically, but practically.
  • Study options to choose from: The students who know what they want to do should have the better choice. So providing choices in high school is crucial.
  • Practicality of providing choices: CBSE does have a list of 67 subjects to choose from, in their Senior Secondary Classes. Number of schools offering various subject permutation combinations are very less.
  • Model for rural India: “Each one, Teach one”: Children should be encouraged to go to school every day. One day the child learns, next day he will teach. Say if the child is in class 10 and has scored 70% marks, then he should teach class 6 kids.
  • Marking system: Is it justified that a student is evaluated only on the basis of his/her performance for the duration of three hours of the exam? If the axis of grading and marking is shifted to classroom participation, project work, communication and leadership skills and extracurricular performance, only then will a genuine student shine out.

“ Let’s share the similarities and celebrate the differences through Global Education.”

Kala Mohan’s career graph showcases more than three decades of progressive qualitative experience across a wide gamut of functions in the field of Education and Training. A Post Graduate in Education, Sociology, English Literature and Personnel Management with specialization in HR (University Topper Rank 1) with Post Gradate Diploma in Distance Education, Computer Science and Special Education, she has headed three CBSE schools of MP.

She is presently holding the position of Academic Advisor and Senior Consultant to few schools of MP. She is also part of the Academic Audit, Curriculum Development and Planning, Training of all stakeholders, Mentoring and Monitoring team of her own company and visited more than 260 organisations across the country and trained around 25,000 trainees from Educational Sector, Social sector and corporate Sector including schools, colleges, hospitals, NGOs, Banks etc. She is an international NLP certified Practitioner, RCI registered Special Educator and has conducted various workshops for School Management, Principals, Educators, Students and Parents, corporate etc. She is the pioneer of PARWARISH ( Effective Parenting Programme) and addressed more than 2.7 Lakhs parents across country. She has done extensive research and developed many modules for Teachers’ Training, Soft Skills, Life Skills and Parenting guide.

She has been conferred with lots of awards and recognition from the Society like Bharat Shiksha Ratna, Guru Dronacharya Samman, Sandipani Gurujan Vishishth Samman, Best Principal Award, Awantika Samman, Matra Shakti Samman, Shining Star Award, WEF award@ Delhi, and many more for the relentless and selfless work for the society.