We imagine, therefore, we invent

Usha Raman

With the dark clouds of Covid 19 still hanging over us, life seems to have come to a full stop. Each day brings with it several demands and expectations and people cope in the only way they know – by taking things one at a time. Even so, our thoughts never seem to leave us, and we try and plan for a future that we cannot see. In all this however, there are opportunities to rethink and reimagine, and schooling and education top the list. Teachers’ Day is just that opportunity for teachers to acknowledge and celebrate their own small victories.

Post-coronavirus times, education and the Ship of Theseus

Rammohan Khanapurkar
In the education space, what will be the ‘new normal’? Can there be a more humane curriculum? The coronavirus did not give a fig to human-made nation-state boundaries. Education can build upon this newfound solidarity, community sharing and global unity. Can this lead in some ways and encourage youngsters to not see different communities as ‘us’ versus ‘them’?

Things change

Kamakshi Balasubramanian
Schooled entirely at home and in a rural haven without any disruption to their lives because of the pandemic, two children decide to demonstrate what they had learnt – question custom and habit, question authority. In short, during extraordinary times, did the children want a new kind of schooling?

A learn-force raring to do

Ratnesh Mathur and Aditi Mathur
Can Covid 19 change education forever? Did children suffer any loss of learning during the lockdown? On the contrary, things were never so good. The pandemic can actually be viewed as a huge opportunity to empower learners. This article goes all out to share some wonderful ideas.

Tenth Grade, 2025: Just another day

Mehak Siddiqui
This is a futuristic fiction piece, set a couple of years from now. It is told from a student’s point of view and gives an insight into how the school system has changed since the pandemic and why. It has a bit of humor and science fiction.

Paidos. Agogos. Educatum.

Sharoon Sunny
What can happen if a student, bored about his online classes, decides to recreate his class combining math, science and English? The result – he kick-starts a new type of learning initiative among his peers – hands-on projects. Read on for this fascinating insight into post-Covid times.

Bottom-up policymaking: Keeping schools at the centre

Kathan Shukla and Vijaya Sherry Chand
Can there be a better time than now to reflect and re-examine public policies governing the school education system? How can schools be at the centre of a decentralized, bottom-up policymaking process? Do we have it in us to put systems in place? It is time schools stand up for themselves and take on a central role in the ecosystem. Schools need to demand high quality support from district and state-level administrators to improve the experiences of their students.

May their tribe increase

S. Mundayoor
Teachers’ Day, as always, is an occasion for many of us to remember and cherish those who untiringly taught us. Here, the author shares some anecdotes about a few teachers who inspired those who came into contact with them. These recollections are mostly from the annual teachers’ residential camps held during the Eighties and Nineties by a group of schools in Arunachal Pradesh, with which the writer was associated.

A new beginning

Anand Krishnaswamy
How will learning and education be in the coming days, especially against the backdrop of Covid 19? While imagining such a situation, the author questions some of the assumptions of the education structure. He asks: What if every child, every student is thoroughly capable of ascertaining what he or she wishes to learn, what if every child can extract learning from anything and everything he or she touches, sees or feels? What if a child can learn at various levels and all of that was acceptable? In trying to expand on these questions, he lists four facets of education of the future.

Escape from reality

Tim Hibsman
With schools closed, this is the perfect time for students to embrace research writing for all subjects. Students can be asked to research different topics and then provide their project through a traditional research paper and presentation. The optimum way to give students their assignments is through a model scenario. Provide students a role playing situation where they conduct research, write a report and present their findings.