Nurturing Social Values, Technical Skills And Adapting To Change Define The Way Ahead For Educators In The 21st Century

Lighting Talks-Emerging Trends in Schools Globally: Aligning them with 21st Century skills, the panel of discussion at the BW Education Summit held in Mumbai saw eminent educationists talking about the future of education inculcating right values, education, emerging trends, skills and technology.

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Chaired by Mrs Shanti Krishnamurthy, Director-Academics and Administration, Chinmaya International Residential School, the session included eminent Panelists; Mrs Shilpa Jejurkar, Principal, Arunodaya Public School, Mumbai, Mrs Poonam Vijay Arora, Principal, Bombay Cambridge International School, Mrs Suchita Malakar, Principal, Podar International School, Powai, Mr Shankarda Chakravarty, Principal GCG International School.

Mrs Shanti Krishnamurthy talking about changing trends comments, “I feel that change in trends is inevitable and so is adapting to change because if schools don't adapt, they will become extinct. The change in trends is never a deliberate effort but it happens and we grow with them and managing how to evolve with the change is challenge for educators.”

Krishnamurthy divided the first question of the session into two parts asking- What are the global changes in education scenario happening globally and also throw light upon how are we handling changes as educators?

Shilpa Jejurkar talked about exposing the students to AI that’s a major emerging trend that will govern the future, “We need to expose the students to upcoming technologies to make them global citizens. In today's scenario students, may not be very intelligent or academically very strong, but yes they need to be very smart and must know how to market themselves very well. Earlier we had IQ (intelligence Quotient) as the criteria to measure calibre, but right now we also have EQ(Emotional Quotient) HQ(Happiness Quotient) and SQ(spiritual Quotient) which are very important. So we have started meditation and happiness building sessions in the school, since I feel that if the child is happy then learning automatically happens.”

Shankardas Chakravarty threw some insight on the emerging trends, “Education is the only system where the change is observed very late, because either the educators don't understand the change or they are not educated towards the necessary changes and are not ready for the new regime which is about to come. We often believe that only change in technology will lead us to the point, but what we need is the change in the attitude which is the most important thing, that refers to the easiness to adapt changes, the easiness to learn, do our business and to live in this changing environment.” 

“We imbibe everything that comes our way and I think the classrooms are heavily loaded. As educators we are not making changes required into the understanding, aptitude, attitude, social quotient, necessarily required irrespective of only technological changes that we aspire to imbibe. Allow the technological changes in terms of the mind-set, people, teachers and the social fabric of the country, until it happens we will only run after having our children to be doctors, lawyers, engineers who will try to settle in the US,” added Chakravarty.

Krishnamurthy talked about educating parents in other countries like Finland, Japan by saying, “When the trends started changing in these countries, right from the beginning when the child is delivered the mother and father of the child are given three kinds of books to see how a child should be nurtured and taken care of."

 “While in Singapore only the education ministry does not make the policies but also the economic development, immigration, all departments wherein an entire team of people sit down to decide what they want to be the economic development of the policy in the years to come and accordingly the education policy is devised. Singapore decided to make their country to be a hub for sciences and they are working on it strongly and that’s what their education system reflects. So certainly need to inspire from them and should try to adapt to changing trends,” added Krishnamurthy.

Poonam Vyas Arora explored possibilities to use technology as an instructional tool for educators, “When we talk about the emerging global trends and emerging 21st-century skills we see a very strong connection there. When we see the emergence of digital technology what we see is how we can use the data, so that students learn problem-solving skills and not rely on myths not based on mere understanding. We are not using the data optimally that can be used. We talk about experiential learning and need-based learning in the classrooms, but we are leaving it to the understanding of the teacher. But, when we have something stronger to work on like if the teacher gets that data about the interest of the child, or how a particular student would work better on plan A or plan B. So it will be something very concrete for a teacher to work on and then technology can be used as an instructional tool for the educators that is used to improvise teaching processes and not to replace them.”

Krishnamurthy gave a very valid point on inculcating good values in children comparing ancient Indian system of education in Gurukuls, where students learnt to master skills out of their comfort zones, they were taught respect for elders, meditation, music and social values. So, how are the modern schools working towards inculcating the very values in our children?

Mrs Suchita Malakar,  “ I would like to say the we  must be very cautious as educators because technology cannot replace the educator in the classrooms. Schools are taking care of inculcating Indian values in children as today ‘live skill training’ that is another name for value education, is an important part of the school curriculums for the overall development of the children, although in between somewhere we did slip somewhere. In our school, we have a live skill program from kindergarten to class 10th that has been there for the last 20 years.”

The session concluded with Krishnamurthy’s last remarks “Society is nothing but the education we give to the society, so looking at the status of health, social chaos like suicides committed by children, corruption and relationship malfunctions, they are all resulting because of the lack of values that we need to instil in our children and creating a right balance apart from just preparing ourselves for the new technology and adapting to change!”

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