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Finding Solutions Through Shiksha Samvad

Engagement of the community is a significant factor in enhancing the quality of both, the learning and school system; Shiksha Samvad is a step in the right direction

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"Today we all are becoming part of such a moment that is laying the foundation for building the future of our country. National Education Policy is about to give a new direction to the 21st century India. In the last 3 decades, every region of the world got changed, every system got changed. There is hardly any sphere of our life that got unchanged in these 3 decades. But our education system was still moving on in the traditional way. To change the old education policy was as important as it is to change an outdated blackboard," addressing a Shiksha Samvad, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says.

“Programs like Shiksha Samvad will prove to be very helpful in better execution of NEP," PM underlines. After the announcement of NEP, how do we do this, what do we do - all these questions are valid and important. Hence, we all have gathered here in this program (Shiksha Samvad) to discuss the road ahead on implementation of NEP, PM states.

"New education policy is a strong medium for accomplishing new needs and new expectations of new India. It's the outcome of 4-5 years of hard work. People from every field and every language have worked tirelessly on this but this work isn't accomplished yet. This is the actual beginning of this task. Now, we have to implement NEP in an effective manner and we will all do this together," he further adds.

He lauds the principals and teachers for participating actively in the implementation of NEP. The Ministry of Education had requested suggestions from teachers on 'my gov' portal regarding NEP and within a week, more than 15 lakh suggestions were received.

The NEP gives special attention to children's education. In pre-schools, a kid goes away from parents' care and out of home's comfort for the first time. It is that first stage when kids start to understand their senses and skills in a better way. Hence, there is need of such schools and teachers that provides environment of fun learning, playful learning, activity-based learning and discovery-based learning. It is important that kids start to think in a scientific and logical way. It is necessary to develop mathematical thinking and scientific temperament in children, says PM.

PM Modi gives 5E formula - Engage, Explore, Experience, Express and Excel, to children for new-age learning. He appreciates NEP saying that it focusses a lot on children, stresses learning based on fun, discovery and activities.

Shiksha Samvad is a pan-india continuous engagement programme with teachers from various NGOs, local body schools and educational institutions. It introduces teachers to the PBL (Problem based Learning) method in traditional teaching and other significant facets utilising the constructivistic approach of education.

The idea

The idea behind Shiksha Samvad (Education Dialogue) is to organise a conversation between the local education bureaucracy and the people with an aim to providing an institutional platform that will allow for sharing of concerns and also finding solutions to issues related with the management of schools. The core elements in this procedure are the creation of space for active participation by the local community and a system of dialogue, opposite to hostility or confrontation, usually seen in community-state talks earlier. Such a process seeks to develop faith between the administration and the community and hence relies on reasoned dialogue between the two.

On the recommendation of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), 'Shiksha Samvads' have been institutionalised by the Government orders in some states. Although, the Samvads could be hosted at any level of educational administration, they are generally held at the lowest level that is Panchayat level so that they can be easily accessible to the people, confirming their active participation.

The aim

The programme aims to encourage the development of PBL in classrooms. Organisations did conduct several Shiksha Samvad programmes in semi towns, metro cities and rural urban setups. They engaged with education sector NGOs like Gram Shiksha Sanstha (Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan), Learning Links (Mumbai), TANDA (an TISS initiative) and Vidya Chetana (Kolhapur) so far.

Function

It helps in understanding the concept of PBL education. It identifies creative tools for PBL education and starts using them in classrooms. It recognises common behavioural issues in students and finds effective ways to tackle them. It also identifies and uses simple classroom management techniques that help reinforce PBL. It also helps teachers plan and conduct PBL sessions.

The format

It is held quarterly at the district level and monthly at the block level. The local administration along with the community decides the frequency and requirement of a Samvad at the Panchayat and/or State level. It is significant to take congnisance of the fact that Panchayat-level talks are more likely to be accessible to most of the people but at the same time, State-level conversations might result in better action taken.