The Indian Education Sector Needs a Holistic Relook

Promod Gupta, Group CEO, Ace Creative Learning Ace Creative Learning is an educational solutions company which offers world-class coaching for are AIEEE, IIT, CET, NEET, PU+IIT, PU+CET, Commerce and many more.

Institutionalised education today focuses majorly on singular dimension of a child’s well-being, which is the Academic Development. While teachers and educators naturally do their best to incorporate the general well-being of a child into their teaching methodology, this still doesn’t change the fact that we put academics first. With a population of 1.3 billion, the future lies in the hands of the youngsters and India needs to take a comprehensive look at the education sector. We need to foster original thinking in children and help them grow into self-confident and responsible individuals rather than focusing on just ranks. Statistics show a rise in the number of children resorting to drastic measures due to academic stress. In such instances, a holistic approach to education where a child’s well-being is the prime focus is vital.

Holistic education is fostered through a sense of identity, meaning, and purpose along with a deep connection to the community. This is cultivated on the values of love for learning and intrinsic reverence for life. Adopting this model of education doesn’t necessarily eradicate the traditional teaching methods. A holistic approach would focus on the overall well-being and development of a child comprising of academic components, social skills, creative thinking, and personality development. This would aid in nurturing the child’s participation in the community and help him understand his role in the greater world. Modern education has lost sight of this concept over the decades. However, in the olden days, the philosophies of education were whole-child learning. In today’s world, soft skills are becoming the hard skills of the
corporate world. While literacy is principal, preparing a child for the corporate world is imperative, hence the education that children receive in science, mathematics, and technology is not adequate for a world filled with constant scientific and technological advances.

" The ability to promote communication, collaboration, and creativity is an asset in the pursuit of creating smart individuals"

Educational institutes must move from teacher-centric learning mode to child-centric learning where the needs of the child are put first. This approach has many factors such as design of curriculum, course content,and interactivity of courses.In this model,a child’s needs abilities, interests, and learning styles with the teacher as a facilitator of learning. Todays corporate needs align with individuals who can think outside the box, a person who is innovative within the context of the environment.

The added benefit of a 'holistic' educational approach is that it develops the intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual and physical qualities they need to live a fulfilling life. Our education system is geared towards testing knowledge at every level as opposed to teaching children skills. “Give a man a fish and you feed him one day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. I believe that if you teach a man a skill, you enable him for a lifetime”. The fundamental flaw lies in the fact that the best crammers are rewarded by the system. The goal of our education system should be to create innovators, entrepreneurs, thinkers, and artists rather than just graduates. It is time to get rid of rote learning and focus more on conceptual learning. One way to ensure conceptual learning is to replace exams with project-based tests and using innovative teaching methods. Incorporating technology into teaching method is one way to make knowledge accessible and relevant to the current trends. Owing to the eminent role of technology in our lives, techled education must be integrated thoughtfully into academics. The ability to promote communication, collaboration, and creativity is an asset in the pursuit of creating smart individuals. Through digitization, children can become responsible users of the tools that are quickly becoming ubiquitous aspects of our daily lives.

Another aspect that requires a makeover would be the centralization of education. If we can effectively decentralize education and nurture personalised learning, there would be an explosion of new and innovative courses, which will cater to each child individually, serving various niches of learners. Where education is concerned, de-regulation, profitability, entrepreneurship and emergence of niche courses are all analogous. Conducting seminars, group discussions, and social activities that require communication are imperative in nourishing a child’s overall personality and skills required to lead a successful and fulfilling life.

Parental involvement in the academic development of a child is the most influential way for the child’s progress. A parent’s active participation in school activities and the frequency of communication with the child’s educators is another factor coming to play. A child’s overall well-being can be achieved only through a good parent-teacher relationship.