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Education industry 2017-09-05

Can Competency based learning find its footing in the education sector

Competency Based Learning is the next best way to educate our future generation

By Uttara.J. MalhotraFeature writer

Statistical study reveals that 95 percent of India’s population, will not like to go under the knife of a medical student studying even in a premier medical college of India. Now, this is shocking and also a sad state of affairs of the future of the medical facilities of our country. The same is in the field of engineering or any other profession which demands specialized skill set.

Competency Quotient
The fact is; education is no more about classroom learning; it has also evolved from the teacher being an instructor to one of a facilitator. Today, children have far too many options to gain knowledge. So in such a scenario, how does an institution or parent ensure the child is learning and expanding horizons to the best of his or her ability?

This is where the concept of Competency Based Learning comes into picture. Emphasizing more on the topic, Soubhik Dasgupta from SDG Consultants says, “In competency-based education systems, students continue to work on specific skills or knowledge until they can demonstrate their understanding and the ability to apply them.” So the whole model of performance based learning from one standard to another is going for a change.

The most important characteristic of competency-based education is that it measures learning rather than time. A student gets the option of self paced learning and is not pressurized to compete at the same speed as other learners in the same standard.

Challenges in Innovation
There are evident challenges in this innovative method of learning. For one, it is challenging a set method of assessment and learning in schools and colleges. For another, it needs far more engagement and facilitation by the educator to ensure this works well for each student studying under such an innovative way of learning.

Indeed a ‘student-centered approach’, this method is being looked as a more ‘personalized learning model’ that requires complete reimagining of content, assessment, and new methods for engaging students.

Today’s technology landscape has evolved to influence the way a child learns. Therefore, it is no surprise that in this constantly evolving landscape, educational systems need learning to provide flexible, self-paced educational options for an ‘increasing number of learners to benefit from.’

Implementation is the key
Competency Based Learning is yet to find its foothold in Indian schools, but universities and professional colleges are already absorbing the idea and implementing this in many ways. There are some examples to share. TimesPro has recently announced its academic collaboration with Jagannath University, Bahadurgarh, to offer a 3 year specialized BBA program in Banking & Finance. The programme is centered around competency based learning rather than grasping facts and gaining knowledge. The framework for such learning has been set under the aegis of Government of India's National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF). Nodal Centre for Faculty Development, Medical Council of India, at Christian Medical College is another harbinger of change ensuring that their forthcoming batches will be exposed to competency based learning methods, which in turn is going to up the quality of students groomed for the profession of medicine.

Sources have confirmed that Medical Council of India has already started implementing their plans to introduce Competency Based Medical Education (CBME) in India ‘a system of teaching medicine which has been very successfully implemented in many developed and developing countries around the world. CBME is a paradigm shift from the traditional way of discipline based imparting of skills and knowledge’. Indeed, practical training has become extremely important for this.

Further elaborates, Anoop Amrith Lal, Department of Community Medicine, Azeezia Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Kollam, Kerala, “The whole idea is to shift the focus of medical education from imparting specific knowledge and skills which may or may not be useful, to creating doctors who are competent enough to address the healthcare needs and expectations of the society. For this, CBME will use the strategy of identifying well defined areas of competence in healthcare and train the graduates in that direction.”

Competency Based Learning is the next best way to educate our future generation and will not be success unless there is relentless effort on the part of Indian schools, administration and teaching force at large. 

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