Curiosity Gym – A leading experiential learning educational company hosted a panel discussion on Transforming Education in India, focusing on the Challenges and Opportunities presented by the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020. The event took place at the Pride Hotel in Pune and featured esteemed panelists from the education sector, moderated by Mr. Girish Nair, Founder of Curiosity Gym.
The panel comprised education experts who shared their valuable insights on the subject. We were honored to have Dr. Ishtiyaque Ahmed Shaikh, Principal, Empros International School, Talegaon; Dr. Sushant Shinde, Principal of Mount Everest School, Ambegaon, Pune; Ms Kajal Chhatija, Director of United International School, Pune and Ms Anita Kaul, Principal at Trinity Jr College, Pune and as our distinguished panelists who provided their individual insightful perspectives.
To emphasize the importance of creativity and curiosity in NEP implementation, Mr. Nair conducted a fun exercise where he accurately guessed everyone’s birthdays within seconds using a set of cards. The participants were intrigued by the demonstration and were challenged on what the secret was and how the “guessing” was achieved. Many tried finding patterns in the cards. This activity, based on the concept of binary numbers uniquely being able to identify a set of digits, has conceptual aspects of computer science mathematics, digital electronics and could even have been used in historical conflicts to win wars. Mr. Nair explained how it has become a popular session among teachers and students, with students in rural schools even coming up with their own variations of the activity.
The panelists then discussed the key points of NEP 2020 and engaged in a Design Thinking exercise to identify challenges and potential solutions. Ms Kajal Chhatija highlighted “the value of a design thinking approach for problem-solving, emphasizing empathy and testing iteratively with stakeholders of proposed solutions”. Dr. Sushant Shinde expressed “the need to educate parents about the new framework and its implications for their children’s learning”.
Dr. Ishtiyaque Ahmed Shaikh shared “tips and tricks on making classroom sessions interactive, ensuring students remain engaged”. Ms Anita Kaul stressed “the importance of communication and encouraged students to define their problems and work together with teachers and mentors to find solutions”.
Key points were raised by the panelists:
- The challenge lies in the implementation phase of the NEP. The discussion touched upon some of the practical aspects of translating NEP’s vision into actionable steps and strategies.
- A crucial aspect highlighted was the need to train teachers on understanding the new education policy and equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to implement it effectively.
- Recognizing the importance of parental involvement, the panelists stressed the significance of providing parents with clear explanations of NEP’s goals, rationales and guidelines and what it meant for their children’s learning.
Some in the audience also highlighted that parents often lack awareness of their children’s passions, interests, and role models. They noted a lack of understanding among all regarding the child’s potential and the exploration of different subjects. To address this issue, Mr. Nair, the Curiosity Gym founder, introduced the platform Mysphere.net to the panelists and teachers. He explained how Mysphere.net can be utilized by both students and teachers. By regularly adding their interests, related projects, and reflecting on them, students can develop a portfolio that captures their key learnings and interests. This portfolio then becomes a valuable resource for students to easily identify and shortlist potential career options.
Overall, the panelists agreed that teacher training is crucial for successful NEP implementation. They called for mentorship and hands-on experience for teachers to go beyond the curriculum and adapt to the new changes. Pre-launch training sessions on NEP’s framework and gaining teachers’ acceptance were suggested.
Collectively the group converged on the point that students should be taught critical thinking skills, where project based exercises helped apply knowledge and exposed students on the process of navigation and discovery of unfamiliar situations and concepts effectively through a mindset of a design and critical thinking approach.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the panelists for their time, expertise, and active participation.
Stay tuned for more insightful events and initiatives from Curiosity Gym as we continue to empower learners and educators through experiential learning!