"Teacher training is important but even more important is attracting the best talent of the country into teaching", says Raghav Podar.
Debate about the purposes of education never seems to end. Should young people become educated to get prepared to enter the workforce, or should the purpose of education be focused more on social, academic, cultural and intellectual development so that students can grow up to be engaged citizens?
One can no longer be satisfied with one’s academic achievements alone as they are fast becoming redundant in a digital economy.
Raghav Podar, Chairman, Podar World School, speaks to educationbiz on bringing talented people into teaching and the changes needed in the school curriculum. He also shares the followed by the school to give a rich learning experience to students.
Let’s Talk About the Intent
Raghav Podar said, “The purpose of education is learning. However, the dominant culture of education in our country and many other countries in the world has become a testing. That needs to change. The mindset of parents needs to change. They should understand that children should focus more on learning rather than testing or scores.”
Stretching it further he said,” Tests are meant to be diagnosing the strength and weakness of the child and not label the child. It is important to make a difference in the lives of the children in a positive way rather than the blind rat race behind marks.”
“The content of national level curricula in India is good. However, what we need is more of an application based thinking, rather than the current regurgitating of rote learning”, said Raghav Podar.
We have information available at our fingertips through Google. The world economy in the 21st century will reward you on how effectively you can apply the knowledge you have and not how much you know. What we need to develop is the thought process of how to critically analyse a problem and then solve it. The thought process of critical analysis and then solving the problem is more important than just the final answer.
The Perfect Balance
Talking about the balance between culture and innovation he said,” Innovation has become a buzzword that everyone wants to just talk about. The bigger question is how the child being benefited by that innovation. The innovation is worth it only if the learning outcome of the child has improved and alongside the lesson delivery of the teachers. More important than your innovation is your culture.”
Culture is the manifestation of your ethos and values in the everyday running of your school. The culture eats strategy for breakfast. If you have a good strategy but the school’s culture is not good, that strategy is useless. Build a Conducive culture, learning will happen. Children will blossom themselves. You have to focus on culture rather than the fancy buzzwords without having real substance to them.
Attracting the Best Talent
“This, to me, is by far the most important facet we need to address”, said the Chairman, Podar World School.
He continued,” The most important thing to get learning is the human connect. The power of a teacher-student relationship is under crux. We need to focus in making that relationship stronger. Teacher training is important but even more important is attracting the best talent of the country into teaching. We need to start building a respect for our teaching fraternity.”