30 September 2019

Those eight years

By Spark Anviti Singh

Of all the formal stages of school education, elementary stage –grades one to eight—is the most important stage. Therefore, central as well as state governments are making every effort to provide basic facilities pertaining to it. From establishing new schools, upgrading the older ones, hiring qualified teachers to providing midday meal and scholarships to needy students, the government has implemented various schemes to keep up its promise of providing quality education to children. 

Undoubtedly, these schemes have brought revolutionary changes in the field of education, specifically in elementary education. But the question is will we be able to achieve our aim only by infrastructural support? The quality of education matters because it is seen as a weapon of social change and progress. The role of education is to inculcate good habits and values among students and to develop in them a sense of inquisitiveness and scientific temperament, the pre requisites of change and progress. 

The foundation of these qualities can only be laid at elementary level. A healthy, happy and comfortable classroom environment conducive for effective learning is the call of the hour. An environment where children feel free to explore and examine not only their surroundings but their inner self too. This helps them in knowing their abilities and capacities. 

A healthy, happy and comfortable classroom environment conducive for effective learning is the call of the hour. An environment where children feel free to explore and examine not only their surroundings but their inner self too. This helps them in knowing their abilities and capacities. 

It is worth noting that the Right to Education Act has played a big role in transforming the nature of classrooms of elementary schools. Due to age-appropriate and round-the-year admission process followed in government schools, children from a large section of marginalised communities have found access to school and its allied services such as midday meal, scholarships etc. But at the same time teachers are facing challenges in the form of multilevel and multigrade teaching. They are also made part of various surveys like election and census which hampers their role as a teacher. 

The second aspect of this whole process is children. At this age, children try to make sense of their surrounding and try to be in tandem with it. At the time of completion of the elementary stage they are on the threshold of adolescence which has its own challenges and problems. Time and again various researches have proved that during these years’ children need intensive educational instruction specially children belonging to disadvantaged section of society and first-generation learners. 

A cursory glance at our government-school classrooms reveals that the present scenario is quite depressing. The schools are facing plenty of problems and teachers are finding little scope to reflect on their teaching methodology and to improve upon it. In this background there is need to do some innovations which can empower our teachers and help them in their classroom process. In such situation technology comes to our rescue. Some small frugal innovations can bring large-scale change, with this belief Sampark Foundation is making continuous efforts to transform the government-school classrooms through technology-based innovations and to enable teacher to increase learning levels of our students. 

(The writer is a pedagogue with Sampark. Views expressed are personal)