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Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Expert View

Contemporary Issues in Education

Contemporary Issues in Education

By Yatharth Gautam, Director & Chief Marketing Officer, Birla Open Minds

Education is the most vital tool for a social foundation of an individual. Contemporary Education is all about connecting school learning to the lives we lead and that means changing how we do our schooling consciously, deliberatively and intentionally. However, schools face a lot of challenges in contemporary education today. The Indian Education System has its own share of issues and challenges. Some of these contemporary issues faced range from congested classrooms, examination malpractice among primary school students, indiscipline in primary schools and issue of a single teacher teaching all the subjects in primary schools as well as the student teacher ratio.

Technology and classroom size are one of the most common issues faced in education system in our country. Classroom numbers are often impacted and due to this a teacher is not entirely focused on a particular student. Technology needs to come into the classroom to keep up with the learning demands of the 21st century. Technology has helped students to feel a wave of normalcy in the pandemic by continuing with their classes, activities virtually. Technology has enabled teachers and students to connect with each other despite geographical barriers.

Another contemporary issue faced in education is related to family psychology. Family factors also play a role in a teacher’s ability to teach students. Principals and teachers agree that a family environment is more often than not, seen to impact a student’s propensity to learn and adapt to school environments and activities. Students with disabilities are more likely to suffer from these challenges such as bullying, substance abuse, depression etc.

Cost of education is an important factor and a major challenge faced today by the student and parent community. The cost of education is on a higher scale even for people and places where it’s easily accessible. Moreover, due to the competition and pressure on students they are enrolled in various activities and private tuitions which are skyrocketing their cost on primary education.

The student-teacher ratio should be given more importance in schools at primary level. Since it’s the most crucial and nascent stage for a child’s development, the child needs the maximum amount of attention and support which is not possible if there are too many students in a classroom.

Contemporary issues can be resolved by adapting a few changes in the education system, by improving the quality of education. A balance between education and mental health of students is essential in achieving success and a strong foundation of primary education. Cost reduction in education at primary level will help students to gain more out of the book knowledge and mental comfort. Perhaps the most substantive movement to reduce inequalities would to reform the system itself. It is time to look further than narrow academic metrics as the only way of describing young people’s competences. The whole educational system across high schools, in every country, needs to change dramatically and soon.

Assessment models should recognise and nurture more varied and multiple competences, in particular, attitudes, skills and types of knowledge beyond those concentrated in constructs that are favoured by socioeconomic background, such as literacy and numeracy.

Till such time universities and employers start looking beyond traditional metrics, it will be difficult to disrupt the parochial mindset that leans on, for the large part; middle class, socially and ethnically privileged candidates.

To truly break away from a millennia of elitist, selective systems, the approach needs to evolve from pure academics to a credit system that captures many more stories of learning. Perhaps look at the new credit system as a passport, where students have “stamped” it with various competences such as lifelong learning and self-agency that they have developed throughout their learning (including and excluding those limited to classrooms), allowing them to be recognised on numerous different fronts.

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