Sunday, June 19, 2016

BIS #4846 EDUCATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY

by Cleric Lawrance Vincent

 

MADHYA PRADESH, JUN 18, 2016 : A one-day seminar was organised for the teaching staff of Don Bosco Alirajpur, Madhya Pradesh on June 9. The programme which was conducted by Father Joaquim Fernandes -  Regional Delegate of Boscom, South Asia and Director of Tej-Prasarni, Mumbai - saw around 55 teachers in attendance. 

 

Father Fernandes began with a documentary titled,  'RiverMee' and 'Potter and the Clay' - as part of introspection on the topic, 'Awareness of self and others.' This was followed by a discussion on how educators can mould the students to be good and honest citizens.  

 

The next session was on 'Don Bosco the Educator.' Father Fernandes  delved on the pedagogy of the Don Bosco's education system, distinguishing the pros and cons of the Repressive system with the Preventive System of education. He proposed the three pillars - Reason, Religion and Loving Kindness to nurture young minds. 


This was followed by a session on the theory of Multiple Intelligences proposed by Howard Gardner in his 1983 book, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Gardner articulated eight criteria for behaviour to be considered intelligence. Gardner chose eight abilities needed to meet these criteria: musical–rhythmic, visual–spatial, verbal–linguistic, logical–mathematical, bodily–kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalistic. The existential and moral intelligence too was included by him. 

 

A session on Mind Mappping proposed by Tony Buzon, the mind power expert, came next. Mind Mappping is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In doing so, it gives you the freedom to roam the infinite expanses of your brain. The teachers created their own mid maps for effective teaching in the school for their children. This unleashes the power of the brain.


The final session was on, 'Vacancies Vanish as Technology takes over- Is our Education System and Cirriculum aligned for our students?' Father Fernandes spoke on the current challenges and proposals to reform the education sector. Despite efforts to incorporate all sections of the population into the Indian education system, through mechanisms such as positive discrimination and non-formal education, a large number of young people still do not attend school. 


Although enrolment in primary education has increased, it is estimated that least 35 million million children, aged 6-14 years are not in school. Father Fernandes highlighted that Disruptive Management has eliminated lakhs of jobs from the industry. New jobs have arisen with technology and hence our education system needs to keep abreast with the relevant skills and train our youngsters accordingly.

 

In Japan, robots have replaced men. Japan has 1,500 robots for every 10,000 workers in its automobile manufacturing units. They are faster, better and increasingly cheaper. This trend is accelerating across global manufacturing. 

 

Associated Press news agency publishes over 3,000 financial reports every quarter using Wordsmith - the language reporting platform. 8.5% of Wikipedia's total content has been written by bots. With advertising revenues dropping sharply for news agencies and print media, they can scarcely afford to keep scores of reporters. 

 

In the education sector too, soon there will be a time when students will not need to attend college altogether. With online classes and degrees, the internet is replacing classrooms. Tuition and coaching is being replaced by apps and online classes. Therefore, its imperative for teachers to keep upgrading themselves and their students, to stand firm in this competitive market space. 

 

With the power of the internet, teachers can now use a lot of resources available online and update themselves. The website, coursera.org offers free online courses from top universities around the world.  The NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) school text books from classes 1 to 12 are available free online on ePathshala. The Khan Academy is another resource which teachers can use for effective teaching in the rural areas. Finally, Father Fernandes concluded with the words of Albert Einstein, "Logic will get you from A to B, but Imagination will take you everywhere."

 

Teacher, Arwa Motorwala expressed her gratitude on behalf of the staff, "The programme was very innovative and informative and I found the mind mapping technique very useful for teaching." Another teacher, Paulus Damor added, "Teaching is fun and programmes like these improves the teaching standard in our school." Principal Father Blaise Fernandes said, "The programme made us aware of the present situation and how we need to adapt to the changing world." 

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