Need for an ethical environment to nurture education system

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A system is as good as its people. The thought architecture of the members of the system, their belief systems and the work profile of the stakeholders, the ethical environment in which the system is built and operating are some of the factors that develop, nurture and sustain the system. Even the slightest aberration in any nook or corner of the system will have its impact on the profile, performance and dynamics of the system – whatever be the locus of the system.

The recent fiasco relating to the examinations of the Board created more noise than what is necessary. Conducting the examinations is as challenging as conducting elections in this country. The mere number of people involved in the organizational structure of the examinations, which, however is unavoidable, makes its conduct a very difficult one. Though a number of preventive and safety steps are taken by the bodies conducting examinations at different levels, be it in the school systems, universities or any other agency involved in such a process, there are always anti-socials and unethical people who want to penetrate into the process for personal gains or for that matter some financial benefits. They least realize that they are playing with the lives of millions of youngsters who would design the future of this nation. Unfortunately, with excessive sensationalization of the news to keep the issues burning and to provoke the sympathy of the people, and for other reasons, a concerted effort to aggravate the stress and pain of the stakeholders gains a game.

That apart, the examinations systems have always been under critical review, since Radhakrishnan commission with regard to its purpose, objectives and methods. With increasing privatization of education and fast changing knowledge dynamics, the education system is increasingly becoming redundant, unable to cope with the skill and cognitive logistics of current global requirements.

The recent focus of the National Policy on Education appears to be on skill development among the learners. It is indeed a welcome move. However, its real interpretation in classroom dynamics and constructivist thought profile of the learners is what matters. And that is not as simple as one could think. It calls for re-engineering the curricular edifice to give adequate room with flexibility incorporated so that the schools spread across the country in entirely different cultural, social, economic and academic profiles can position their needs appropriately. Skills need to be contextual, relevant, need-based and rewarding. Duplication and replication of skills may be good for an administrative convenience but would have no value and their social returns would be meagre and unproductive.

It is in this context the current issue focuses on generating a discussion among different stakeholders on the futuristic skills. We have contributions from corporate, business and educational systems on this issue and I thank all the contributors.

“The Progressive School” magazine is gaining ground across the country and I have been receiving a positive feedback from many friends in this journey. While such feedbacks do provide a stimulus to look forward for more experimentation and creativity, it is equally important to carry all stakeholders together so that the social objectives of this endeavor are achieved.

With the heat of examinations over, the real summer is on and it is time for people to relax, to reach out, to re-energize and recharge their life batteries for the next academic year…. Have a great holiday and get ready for further learning!

G. Balasubramanian
Editor-in- Chief