India’s twelfth five year plan and education

Our nation has been experiencing a vast expansion in the enrolment of children in schools since the

last decade. It is set to increase with the opportunities offered by the Right to Education Act (RTE

2009) assuring every children’s right to quality education. That increasing enrolments do not necessarily mean attendance or learning, has come under severe scrutiny. Recent studies (ASER, 2012) and several anecdotal evidences confirm low participation and low levels of learning among children. The Twelfth Five-Year Plan by the Government of India emphasizes that ‘access to education’ cannot be separated from ‘quality of education’. One of the goals of the Dakar Framework (2000) in achieving Education for All is  ‘quality of education’. It is against this dominant prevailing sentiment that Tagore’s view of education as a ‘right which enables individuals and communities to act on reflection’ (In a letter to the International League for Rational Education, 1908)

assumes greater meaning. The teaching-learning practices in a classroom provide an opportunity for not just the development of knowledge and skills among children but of curiosity and eagerness.

John Holt(1967) in his book, How Children Learn observes, “children come to school curious, within few

years most of the curiosity is dead or silent……A child is most intelligent when the reality before him arouses in him a high degree of attention, interest, concentration, involvement—-in short, when he cares most about what he is doing.” Therefore, it is the life in the classrooms that pave way for children to develop a sense of love for learning and offers purpose to their childhood experiences. The teaching-learning practices in a classroom provide an opportunity for not just the development of knowledge and skills among children but of curiosity and eagerness.

 

 

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