1. What is the relevance of the CBSE curriculum in terms of the current skills requirement for future professionals?
There is no doubt that the Central Board of Secondary education (CBSE) makes you study rigorously. However, apart from that, it is a curriculum that provides room to develop skills. It also helps in nation building and leadership. CBSE has a compact structure that is to be followed while allowing for a number of professional traits such as leadership, project management, and interactive abilities that help with conflict resolution, and other such value added skills to be easily incorporated. Each school has its own approach to how these skills are included.
2. What is the changing role of the teacher, and how can parents and educational institutions support that new role?
The chalk and talk method is no longer the way to teach. Classrooms have become more collaborative. Many schools now believe that the role of the teacher is not to teach, but to facilitate and therefore teachers are now facilitators. At the same time, they inspire students to learn and impart skills with the tools provided by the school. Teachers need to upgrade their skills as they play multiple roles of teachers, counsellors, guides, etc.
For parents to understand the changing role of teachers, it is important that they are oriented in the changing approach to education. Today, employability skills are few and if we do not train students correctly, through these collaborative means, it will continue to remain this way. Parents should be made to understand that blackboard teaching and learning by rote methods are no longer relevant. The approach to sustainable learning is what will equip students for the future. This is something that New Age schools are able to do.
3. How can schools help students discover their passions?
There are steps to this. You have to focus on interests of the child and what they are inclined towards. These interests and choices keep changing, based on the teachers they are attached to. By the age of 10 teachers can identify the passion of a child. Ideally portfolio files should be made and passed from one class teacher to the other with each passing year. Passion, skill sets etc., can be noted in this and developed upon. Back in the day, class teachers would remain the same for a few years and this was a great approach as they could understand a child more intimately. This knowledge can help schools initiate programs that encourage children to explore their passions.
4. How can schools adapt their curriculum to the technologies that kids are already using?
It’s the 21st century when it comes to education, bringing in technology is an absolute requirement. Today’s children are digital natives and it comes easy to them. But, we still need to work at making students hands-on and not completely tech-dependent. Programs that can be used as digital enhancements to school curriculum. Collaborative tools that can be accessed online can be incorporated. Tools like blogging, videos, podcasts, webinars and others can help students study remotely as well.
5. How can educators provide effective intervention in the early years so all students are on an even track in school?
We can make a world of difference if we understand students well. Children can be divided into four groups - Kinesthetic, linguistic, audio-visual and spatial, based on which they can be provided with differentiated worksheets gradually bringing them to one level. While we would not want to encourage mediocrity, the idea is to ensure class disparity is not too high. The CBSE system makes way for the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation System which is done at regular intervals and this helps a lot in bringing students at par.
Early learning intervention from schools provide support for parents with children who have developmental disabilities or delays. The purpose of early learning intervention is to minimize children’s chances of being left behind in their educational potential as they enter pre-school or elementary school. Early intervention is not just related to learning difficulties or milestones but can be associated with behaviour and other aspects as well like socialization as well. We at TGIS, observe and have milestone checks, and inform parents when we find academic delays.
6. What are the USPs of The Global Indian School and what can both parents and students look forward to?
As a school we have worked on a global curriculum that is presented to children in a personalized and holistic manner. We are also going to be a completely non-biased and an inclusive school, of children with disabilities, irrespective of gender and race. We believe that equal opportunity is everyone’s right. Every child is important to us and we understand that every child is also unique. Some of our USPs are:
· E-Qube - a skill-based program that teaches children critical thinking, skill-based problem solving and life skills. Students are taught to be empathetic, which is the need of the hour.
·Parents are offered an orientation to understand the changing education eco-system and evaluation methods.
·Portfolios are created for students and differentiated assessment sheets are provided to them.
·Concepts such as flipped classrooms (where class work and home work could be inter-changeable); Wonder Time, Choice time, (giving time to answer all those curious questions with hands-on work); DEAR learning programs; a strong library and reading program and many such concepts are our USPs.
We also have Signature programs – TGIS Dayitva- that opens opportunities for community development, wildlife interaction, collection programs for charity, community care etc. TGIS Pariyavaran is to help children understand about new career options that pertain to the environment such as rainwater harvesting to cloud seeding and more. The idea is to make children aware of these opportunities.