"Education in the 21st Century"
Quotations for consideration:
- “Our youth does not form 100 % of the population but they definitely form 100 % of the future of our Society. We cannot prepare the future for our youth but we can certainly prepare our youth for the future”. - Shiv Khera.
- "We want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded, by which one can stand on one’s own feet.” - Swami Vivekananda.
- "...Improving the quality of education is a cost free way to raise prosperity... the increase in economic benefits far outstrips the cost of investments."- Paul J. Zak
- "Good grades aren't as good outside school as they are in it" - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- “How do you teach children the skills for the (future) since we don’t know which skills will be needed then” - Paul Doolan . You need to make them learn from how others had successfully learnt in the past. As the Arab proverb goes – “He who doesn’t have (knowledge of the) past, has no future”.
- Children are inherently curious and creative, characteristics that education must encourage. Education must teach how to do something or make something, instead of being all about memorizing facts and passing tests. This should begin right from Play School level with unstructured play emphasizing learning by doing and to develop the attitude and ability to persist with what one is doing till it is done.
- Education psychology researchers at Purdue University have determined that good science education at the earliest is supremely important and have developed an approach to teaching science in Kindergarten integrating it with language. The combination delights the children and appeals to the teachers. (See www.purduescientificliteraryproject.org).
To ensure and encourage the implementation of the right to education, it is not only that more & proper schools need to be setup, but also that teachers be made accountable through a system of monitoring and merit pay, and also that the students be incentivized by the mid day meals scheme and given a choice of a school vide a voucher system that forces schools to compete to be better. In order to ensure rapid growth in the infrastructure for education the Government should declare schools as a priority sector endeavour, and encourage private participation allowing for a reasonable profit thereon to be determined by the market based on competition.
Private schools, as recommended by the Economist – August 2012 , could also be modeled on Swedish / American / British “Free / Charter” schools or academies. These are called ‘Free’ schools because they are designed to be largely independent of the local educational bureaucracies and teachers unions. They receive the same level of public funding as the State schools but are independently managed. Such schools have been successful because they offer freedom to shape the school to the pupils, rather than the other way around. Schools can change the length of