Towards Smart learning

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Greetings!

The sound and fury of the examinations and their results across the country is almost over! As usual, the examinations posed several questions than answers. This year also, many questions have surfaced – the objectives of question papers, the need for moderation, the credibility of marks, the cut-throat competition for performance and several other related things. Questions have also been raised about the way the school fraternity has used the results “to launch their brands” and for effective marketing for numbers. Some questions are indeed difficult to find answers in a composite culture of thinking and in evolving social systems. Several of these issues need to be addressed in a collective manner, not for the purposes of effective governance, but as partners in a responsible global community.

The new National Policy on Education is still in discussion. The academic community is waiting for the new brew that would shape the destiny of our classrooms in future. The strong focus on “skill development” is a welcome initiative, but the concept of ‘skills’ should not be celebrated in isolation. The success lies in effective and meaningful synergy between knowledge and skills. It would call for ‘inter-disciplinary’ and ‘multi-disciplinary’ thinking among educators and educational administrators. This paradigm shift calls for cooperation and collaboration between the fields of education, industry, business and trade. Time has come to break down some formal walls that separate our “thinking classrooms.”

Learning has become both personal and global. It will be extremely difficult to examine the permutations and combinations of both the sources and resources that facilitate and impact learning. To restrain learning and pedagogy to the structures and fonts implanted in any single textbook, will not yield the desired results. Learning will happen despite such restrictions, possibly with a pace and style that is previously unknown. We need to ‘celebrate’ learning and ‘enable’ our learners to open the windows of their curiosity to breathe the freshness of the future. The emerging challenges to the ‘partners in progress’ in the education industry is indeed worrying. It is likely to deter ‘entrepreneurs’ from making safe and purposeful investments in the cause of education. Education is a social responsibility and ‘togetherness’ is the way of the future.

The last issue of “The Progressive School” has been welcomed by many friends of the fraternity. The focus on safety, both infrastructural and emotional, has been applauded by many as the need of the hour. The in-depth analysis of some of the issues and the inputs that would help schools, they felt, will be quite useful for long time. I thank the authors and the editorial team for their efforts.

Over the last couple of years, the concept of “Smart Schools” has been on the focus. The idea has latent in it both myths and realities. Questions have been raised whether a superlative infrastructure or the induction of current technologies would be indicators, if any, for the smart Schools? How far they are likely to impact the quality of learning and teaching? Or do they continue to remain as marketing strategies? How could pedagogical inputs be smart enough to empower creative thinking and holistic development of learner’s profile? Is the idea of smart schools just urban? Many of these issues have been debated and senior principals and teachers have voiced their views in the current issue. I thank them for their candid views which would throw light on removing some myths.

The journey to empowerment is an ongoing process both for learners and learning communities. “The Progressive School” is committed to walk hand in hand with the learning community to make this journey meaningful, focused, educative and enjoyable! In this direction, your contribution will go a long way. Come and join us!

G. Balasubramanian

Editor-in-chief