Shun rote learning: Ex-minister Dr Pallam Raju

A new look and dynamic to shape the education system followed in our country is essential at the moment.

Bengaluru: Former union human resources development minister Dr Pallam Raju urged educators to develop and follow a pro-active curriculum to develop skills among students right from the high school level. He was inaugurating the 96th All India Principals’ Conference held at the city on Thursday.

“A new look and dynamic to shape the education system followed in our country is essential at the moment. We have to move away from an academic environment, which solely focussed on rote learning and competitive grades to prioritise the gains of knowledge and its positive applications,” he said.

The former minister explained that while the nation’s foundation has grown, capacity building in terms of teachers, evolving learning technologies and the enhancement of teaching space has not kept up with the requirements, leading to a significant fall in the quality of education.

Pointing out to the findings of the recent Annual Status of Education Reports (ASER) indicating a dismal learning curve across government-run institutions in the country, he stressed on to the fact how private institutions could help bridge the gap by using the possibilities of Right to Education (RTE) to reach out to more needy students.“This can help us lead our way to additional capacity creation in a qualitatively better manner,” Dr Raju said.

‘Raise voice against injustice’ In her keynote address, Former Governor of Rajasthan and Uttarakhand Margaret Alva elaborated on the need of contemporary educators to mould millennials into individuals possessing courage, compassion and character for a better future.She said that attention should be paid to the creation of leadership among students. “While discipline is good, the younger generations should be encouraged to challenge the wrongdoings of the system and to raise voice against injustice, exclusion and instances when constitutional rights are taken away from us. Education cannot be given in a vacuum,” she said. “We now live in a speechless democracy, cashless economy and a divided society,” she added.

Further criticising the Central Government cutting down budget allocations towards developing education, Alva said, “It is a saddening that a huge share of our children study at schools where even classrooms, blackboards and teachers are absent. Even then the government is interested to allocate more budget for a single bullet train than what is being spent totally towards education,” she lamented.

Concluding, Alva advised the educators to work towards making students realise they were being educated to serve their motherland and not to equip them with a visa to relocate. Later during the day, Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy interacted with the educators at the venue.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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