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Feb, 04 2017


Academician-turned entrepreneur Palani Rathinam, Chairman, Akara Education & World Schools, in his novel designed K-12 system that ensures learning without gaps

There are many school brands available for business opportunity. Why Akara?

Akara World Schools, powered by research and professional back up of Akara Education’s 100 plus man years of K17 teaching, answers hitherto unsolved puzzles of the traditional school system.

Why are learners not able to sustain their initial suc­cess level as they move to higher grades?

The traditional education system leaves behind many students struggling to suc­ceed because the course content, place, time, delivery mode and pace are fixed. The resultant challenge is that many students are left behind with varying levels of learning gaps, requiring appropriate learner-specific scaffolding.

The current K-12 education content and the assessment system aim at producing aver­age learners, who conform to the learning outcomes by ensuring the basic core knowl­edge of compartmentalized disciplines, but it miserably fails to fully tap the hidden potential of the learners, par­ticularly of the high achievers. The system does not chal­lenge them to realize their full potential. Top educationists of the world like Tony Wag­ner have referred to this as Achievement Gaps and have called for reengineering of education. It is also clear that

even the most academi­cally successful learners are unable to meet the expectations of higher education institutions and the industry. This gap is caused by the learning outputs necessary for success in the school, but not sufficient for higher education and industry, resulting in Expectation Gaps.

Apart from these, do you think anything else is responsible for these gaps?

Yes, lack of passion. The whole system at its best is designed to focus only on the cognitive development of the learners and has no place for the learners’ passion and emotion. Pas­sion motivates, it drives, it triggers; it propels and ensures magical success as it makes way out of no way. It allows the learn­ers to overcome hardships and achieve goals that are meaningful to them.

Thus, Akara’s re­search team realized the problems in the current education system as four gaps: Learning gaps at the personal learning level, gaps in expectation, achievement, and passion caused by faulty curricu­lum design.

What is Akara’s solu­tion to the problems and challenges?

Akara has designed a K-12 system that ensures learning without gaps so that every child excels and learns without limits so that the any child’s development is assured to bridge the disconnec­tion within education, and between education and life. It is called the 7-i learning process comprising Instruction, Investigation, Interaction, Internalization, Ideation, Imagination and Innovation, as the solution which ad­dresses the challenges above mentioned.

How do you successfully translate these 7i’s into classroom strategies?

We have designed a couple of exciting and effective tools called PALMS and K-12 EDGES.

Please explain PALMS & K-12 EDGES…

PALMS is an advanced learner-centred strategy that replaces the tradi­tional teacher-centred notes of lesson, or lesson plan. It is an acronym for Personalized Adap­tive Learning Map for Success. It personalizes learning to every indi­vidual learner supported by adaptive technology for scaffolding.

K-12 EDGES stands for K-12 Education Designed for Global Employability and Sustainability. This strategy aims at challeng­ing students to stretch their capacities, thereby enabling them to realize their full potential. It is achieved through an ini­tiative called Integrated, Passion-led, Accelerated and Connected Education for Excellence (i-pace-e).

Further, to the 4C’s (Communication, Criti­cal Thinking, Collabora­tion & Creativity) of 21st Century Skills, recent re­search studies that exam­ined the job requirements of global MNC’s have laid huge emphasis on a new set of competencies called Global Competen­cies, comprising global content, global connec­tions, global concerns, global commitment, global contribution, and global citizenship.

Similar emphasis is be­ing given to the concept of sustainability as one of the prime principles of meaning-making and purpose-building pro­cesses for education to be fulfilling.

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