TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN TEACHING, emphasis on practicals rather than theoretical work, no burden of homework, special revision classes and mandatory educational trips are some of the key feedback points which the city students want included in the New Education Policy that is being prepared by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has invited online feedback from the students of classes VI-XII to take their responses into account when making recommendations for substantial improvements in the teaching-learning environment of schools. The city students are actively participating in it by sending their suggestions. The students have to send the filled forms by October 5.
One of the suggestions of students is to lessen the burden of daily homework or to have a policy where the homework could be completed in the school itself. Himang Duggal, a class VIII student of Shishu Niketan School, Sector 22, says, “Teachers should understand that homework is a sheer wastage of time. We end up copying-pasting things from here and there. Homework is just given to keep us busy after school but that does not help at all.”
Pratham Gupta from KBDAV School, Sector 7, says that if the schools insist on giving loads of homework, it should be something interesting and research-based and challenging so that homework can also be enjoyed.
In the CBSE’s feedback form, there are 28 questions for the students of classes VI-XII, out of which questions 23 to 25 are specific for classes IX-XII and questions 26-28 for only classes XI-XII.
Sample a few questions: ‘How does the classroom teaching help you to solve your daily problems or understand things?’; ‘Which medium of instruction makes you understand things better?’; ‘Are cultural activities used in teaching English, Maths or Science?’; ‘Rate the class activities that help in your learning’; ‘Use of digital technology in any of the subjects?’; ‘How far the assessments of speaking, problem solving etc help you develop your thinking and learning skills’ etc.
Fariha Fatima, a student of class XI at Sri Guru Gobind Singh Senior Secondary School, Sector 36, says, “The only reason that a majority of students of classes XI to XII do not attend classes — they instead prefer attending their coaching classes outside — is that our lectures are confined to the classrooms and the NCERT books. Teachers do not go beyond that. Schools should themselves take the initiative to provide reference books to the students preparing for IIT JEE, AIPMT, AIIMS or any other exam.”
However, Prachi Chauhan, a class XII student of Carmel Convent School, says, “History, geography, science teachers are well aware of the fact that students hardly participate in the class if they keep reading and explaining the chapter. I believe that they should rather ask a group of students to prepare a chapter or make some interesting presentations which could be later uploaded on YouTube and discussions can be held. This way a lot of students will be seen participating in the boring subjects.”
Students have also emphasised technology-driven teaching and special English speaking classes in the school. Charanpreet, a class XII student of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 20, says, “It’s seven years that I have been studying in this school but I have never seen the teachers making an attempt to speak in English with the students assuming that we will not understand. This kind of attitude discourages us and needs to be changed.”
Students of classes XI and XII also complain that because of their seniority in the school, they are not taken out for a trip. “We do not demand fun trips but we can be taken for some educational trips at least for two days. Educational trips should be a mandatory part of the schools,” says Ali Hasan, a student of Ryan International School, Sector 49.