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.

The queen of all subjects

Aditya Rao
A teacher shares his dilemma about whether he should teach in English or Hindi and about finding the right words to explain scientific concepts. The problem, he discovers, is with the children’s language skills. And the solution? Read on to find out.

English, English and English!

Pooja Birwatkar
Some schools insist that their students speak only in English during school hours and even informal communication between students is scrutinized. Students are forbidden to use Hindi or any mother tongue in school. Isn’t language a unique feature of Indian culture and shouldn’t the diversity in languages also be given a serious thought when we proclaim education systems to be all inclusive?

Who owns learning?

Meena Sriram

A silent and passive class listening to a teacher drone is no longer the way to teach and learn. It is time that teachers devise strategies that will help children own learning. When children learn by and for themselves the quality of learning that takes place is deep and extremely satisfying.

Autonomy and empowerment

P. Ajitha
How can institutions ensure that teachers channelize their creative energies into the teaching- learning process so that they feel empowered? Here are ten ways to lift the spirits of teachers which will give them the much needed boost and the elusive satisfaction as well.

Classroom education v/s home tutoring

Monica Gill
Every parent expects to see their child perform well in school. But not every parent is able to evaluate whether sending their child to school alone is enough. Though schools charge a lot of money to impart education, they fail to pay individual attention to the children. Bringing an end to this worry of parents is the growing trend of home tuitions.

Is this how you teach history?

Chintan Girish Modi
History is one of the more difficult subjects to teach. As an individual with a conscience do you teach your students to conform to the history textbooks (which are usually politically-driven) or do you teach them to confront the ideas presented in there? As an expert in the subject, do you put forth the whole picture for your students to see, or do you just show them the selective parts printed in the textbooks? How do you teach history?

What’s all the fuss about innovation in education?

N Mythili
There is a huge buzz around innovation with governments at state and national levels setting up innovation centres to identify, encourage and upscale innovations across the country. With schools also being encouraged to transform processes and systems to innovate, it is important to know what is really meant by innovation. Here are some pointers to encourage innovations in schools.

To preach or not to preach?

Chintan Girish Modi
What would sexuality education in schools look and feel like if it happens through aesthetic appreciation, character study, storytelling and open-ended discussion? The answer to this question would play out differently depending on the context of each school. Here is a report of an art exhibition that handled this subject with a sense of humour as well as sensitivity.

Where’s the enthusiasm for maths?

Hemen Dutta

There is a widespread belief that mathematics is given importance over other subjects in school and yet we don’t find many students opting to study it at higher levels. India has produced world-renowned mathematicians in the past and if we are to contribute in any way to the study of mathematics, we have to be able to sustain our students’ interest in the subject and open up the several possibilities that mathematics has to offer them.