Back to basics

Source: The Hindu

Relevance: Focus on inclusive and quality education.

Synopsis: It is important for India to work on ways to strengthen foundational education for children

Impact of the pandemic on children’s education

Pandemic & lockdowns have had a serious impact on the education system. There have been:

  1. Cases of alarming drop-out rates from school
  2. Migration of children from private to government schools because of inability to pay the fees.
  3. Increasing abuse of children at home
  4. Rise in inadequate nutrition & so on
Problems that need to be addressed

There are some major factors that need to be addressed at the foundation level:

  1. Nutrition: As per UNICEF, India should focus on the nutritional intake of children. Children, depending on their age & gender, need to consume 1000-3200 calories per day
  2. UNDP Human Development Report 2019 mentions that If the foundational learning is weak, and students are automatically promoted, then at higher grade students will struggle to grasp concepts.
  3. National Education Policy (NEP): NEP 2020 proposed pedagogical to teachers, but the content-heavy curriculum forces the teachers to adopt instructional rather than creative approaches.
  4. Skilled Teachers: NEP 2020 entrusted the intellectual development of kindergarten children from the unprivileged sections to matriculation. This will not fulfil the task of making these students into creators, as they lack expertise. Also, the proposal to upgrade their skills using the online method is grossly inadequate. These problems have to be addressed.
Suggestions
  • The government should recognize that EdTech is a resource of the privileged.
  • The government should mobilize students of higher education to work for 3 to 6 months in underdeveloped areas.
  • Private companies should also come up with mentorship programmes.
Way Forward

If the government wants to achieve the goal of SDG 4 (Quality Education), then the government need to work on a war footing.

Terms to know

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