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was an impressive read through the Report produced by the esteemed Rema Menon
with its well-rounded focus on a wide spectrum of issues pertaining to the
present day ‘Education’.
was a time just a few decades ago when any Board Exam Student would prepare for
the topic, “Television, a boon or a curse?” Today there is a slight yet at the
same time, a mammoth shift in the focus- “The Internet, a boon or a curse?”
observed in the above mentioned Report, we have come a long way through the
path of technology;the cyberspace, the
internet , Google, Wikipedia are tools which have made knowledge ever so easily
accessible. No going to Libraries, looking through the Catalogues of Books,
getting desperate and frustrated over the inability to find a required Journal
or an Article! Or boarding a train to travel all the way from Punjab to Osmania
University, Hyderabad to research for material for a Dissertation!
academic life for the students of today has become much more simplified, even
though the pressures of competitiveness and deadlines may far out weigh all
that ever existed before.
how bright is the prospective of the easy availability of Study Matter for our
students? Are the innumerable sites that provide well- researched Notes on any
and every Topic aimed at robbing the students of their originality, independent
thinking and novel critical insights?
No certainly not! It is for us to
decide whether or not to swallow the bitter pill. Living in the midst of a
plethora of advantages of the technological aids available to enhance
knowledge, it is the basic foundation of Education that needs a
reconsideration. The criteria of judging potential and ability needs a
regurgitation so that the chances for cheating, plagiarism, fabrication or
misrepresentation etc. are minimised.
fully agree with Rema Menon that students tend to resort to grabbing what they
can get easily by way of the ‘cut and paste tool’, under the pressure of
meeting deadlines, getting top marks and pleasing Teachers and Parents. The
temptation of the easy availability of reading material, leads them to neglect
the reality of the blunder that in order to aim for good marks and the top
positions, they may be compromising honesty, originality and integrity.
new systems of evaluation such as ‘Internal Assessments’, which have already
been incorporated into some curriculums, need to be followed morestringently. New methods ofranking evaluations need be introduced which
aim at assessing the students’ individual capability.
Tests ( in addition to the Aptitude Tests)
‘Assessment’ based on:
meeting of Work Pressure
students’ free access to the ready-made knowledge available must be given the
chance to be used in a manner so that students feel enthused to be able to put
the Net-based learning to original work in the school environment under Observation
and Supervision while working on their Projects and Thesis. Their
mind-sets need to be convinced that as there is total freedom to the boundaries
of knowledge, so also there is total freedom to the limits of originality. They
may read anything from anywhere, but then leave it at that, not think of
producing a rehash to be served on a new platter! The whole concept of ‘Freedom
and Responsibility’ has undergone a sea-change through the involvement of the Space!
whole system of Classroom Teaching needs undergo a refurbishing. With the
students’ requirement of making 70% or so contribution to a Class Lesson, what
is normally taught in the Classroom should be the ‘Homework’ which
should encompass reading and research carried out at home, wherein, the students
read and grasp the matter available on their own in their own time and space.
School and College hours should be devoted to work written and produced by the
students, so that the chances of Plagiarism are minimised. The students need to
feel encouraged to ‘make use of the material available’ to produce their own
writings, and works, and gradually be weaned out of Supervised work to entirely
self- motivated performance.
we may be looking at a triple course learning:
1.The net- based and text-based learning at home
Guidance in School/College
3.Final work submission under Supervision
short, the students do ample reading through different sources at home,
followed by a reinforcement of their knowledge through Class Interaction and
minimal of Teacher Guidance leading on to the creation of student work under
supervision. Gradually, the idea of plagiarism shall automatically be replaced
by the urge for being original. We must remember that we cannot guide our
future Leaders ‘by the rod’, we, the adults need to be very innovative and
original as well! Above all, we need to convinceand earn the trust of the youngsters by
leading them on to trust their own potential.
than exact Source References, the use of available guides should be minimised
by reversing the concept of ‘Home-work’ and ‘Classwork’,the
latter being the final criteria of assessment. Rather than the regular
time- table, there may be full day allotments or hourly distribution for the
Completion of Assignments in the respective subjects in school. The Classrooms
could be converted into Workshops, so that students learn the advantages of
Group and Team Work, Camaraderie, Time Management and Leadership, and they
apply the Net -based learning through individual and original execution.
have been innumerable debates over the issue- ‘Whether or not to have the
Examination System’. To my mind, the Examination System is mandatory as there
has to be world- wide standardisation od knowledge and the criteria of
assessment. Thus students across the Globe need to be measured by the same
yardstick, so it is doubtful whether the Examination System can be done away
with. Nevertheless, it must need be supported through such essential modes of
Assessment such as ‘Internal Assessment’ wherein partiality and favouritism
need be dumped below the ground by the teaching faculty. It is we the Teachers
and the Parents, together, who have to uphold the Torch of Integrity; it cannot
be bought at any Mall!
Teacher Tutoring needs be replaced with Teacher Guidance and enhancement of
the ‘individual reading as home task’, having been accomplished by the students,
individually and independently at home. Much of the regular home-work being
done by the students means nothing, as it has sometimes been done half-
heartedly or through ‘Tutor Guidance’ or ‘Google Guidance’.
may be some students, who do not have access to as many resources as the
others, their needs may be fulfilled by the necessary provisions in school. We
should not forget that some of the Great Men and Women were self- tutored under
the street lamp-post! Thus an equal opportunity must be promised to all.
present system of Teaching in Schools loads the teachers with Correction Work
beyond imagination, sometimes making the teachers work more than the students,
as they have not only to prepare Lessons Plans, but actually prepare for the
actual Lesson in addition to the Heavy Loads of Corrections of Homework, Tests,
Projects and the list is endless. All this means that the ‘Carry home’ baggage
for a Teacher is heavier than what it is for a student. There are Teachers who
actually tag along with them a trolley bag to save their backs and the
shoulders! There is serious need of some reconsideration.
that the Tablets have been allowed in Schools, the free Wi-Fi availability,
must lead to the cultivation of self- discipline engineered and timed between
focused perusal of the ready- made research materialand the rendering of the original work of the
Correction should be largely replaced by ‘Peer Correction’ which
must be strictly observed by all tutors and School Authorities within the
Institute. More important than a Class test, for which a student may mug up and
take the test, the knowledge thus being gained as soon forgotten, major part of
the teaching needs to be devoted to the understanding of concepts,
wherein the expert teacher guidance is necessary. This must be followed by
further ‘Home reading’ of the available material on the Net, finally, to be
transformed into a weekly submission, produced over a couple of hours in
School, so that there is little if no doubt at allof plagiarism.
the ‘Wi-Fi’ discipline is incorporated and adapted by our new generation convincedly and logically, students may
be misusing both their time and the freedom of the free access to Net by
chatting, or twittering and surfing Facebook pages when they are expected to be
feel that an abundance of anything takes away the craving- so there is a hope!
Our present generation, which is extremely intelligent, can be easily geared
towards a more productive performance, which shall come out naturally through
their genuine urge. The free access to the boundless ocean of the Internet
shall ultimately show them the way how to keep safely afloat through self-
discipline, how to use their resources to overcome and beat every oncoming
challenge and how to master the waves.
of the System rehabilitation could lead to our young generation to find their
own passion, which shall lead them to find their own dreams and thus furnish
them full force to pursue those dreams.
the problems of lack of concentration, lack of motivation, low self – esteem,
frustration, depression and a sense of general negativity shall automatically
be minimised and the social milieu undergo a natural evolution and
full support of the points of attention raised in the Article under reference,
I would like to reinforce the close collaboration needed between the Teachers,
Parents and the Students. They need to work as a Team, the Roles
overlapping and changing at times- the teachers playing the parental role and
vice-versa; at times, the student being the teacher, likewise. It is a very
sensitive yet a volatile relationship which can either make or mar a strong and
resilient social system.
taking a few new steps onto the path of transformation, we may be getting
closer to producing more scientists, more writers… more Creators than Followers.