Updated: May 31, 2017 4:10:08 pm
Jumpstart Goes to School, a seminar concentrating on children’s education, was held in the Capital today. This two-day seminar is focusing on the education in theory and in practice as well as school education with regard to children’s content.
Delivering the keynote address, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Ashoka University, Vineet Gupta, himself an IITian and a first generation entrepreneur, highlighted the key aspects and challenges of the Indian education system.
Gupta said that India has the largest higher education system in the world in terms of institutions. “We have about 712 universities and 36,671 colleges. We are also the largest market for higher education with a population of 14 crore in the the 18-23 years age group,” he said.
According to Gupta, the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) at the school entry level is 93 per cent which drops to 36 per cent at the higher secondary level. “The system of education is more input based which deteriorates the output. Half the students cannot read a text and two-thirds cannot do simple arithmetic after primary school,” he elaborated.
Talking about the challenges of higher education in India, Gupta said that quality is a big challenge for the Indian education sector. “We need to focus on faculty development and training. We’ve left the training of teachers to government institutions. There is shortage of 12 lakh teachers at the school level. In a Central Teacher Eligibility Test conducted by the CBSE recently, only six per cent of the seven lakh graduates who appeared for the exam passed the test,” he said.
Among the panelists present for the first half of the seminar were educator Preminda Langar, Australian author Ken Spillman, CEO of Institute of Digital Learning, Munich, Dr Florian Sochatzy and children’s books writer and illustrator, Orit Bergman.
Langar enlightened the audience about the need for experience-based learning right from the primary level. She said that learning needs to inculcate the physical, emotional, social, cerebral, moral and ethical, as well as spiritual aspects. “We need to focus on helping create more scientists than focus on science, more authors than scribes,” she said.
Spillman, who spoke about bringing technology to education in order to enhance learning, said, “Technology is not just for learning but is a great place to connect.” He added that educators need to be themselves as humans respond better to others when they see that others are real.
Jumpstart, started in 2009, began as a series of workshops and seminars focusing on children’s books. The workshop is organised annual by the German Book Office (GBO), New Delhi, which is a joint venture of the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Foreign Ministry of Germany. GBO New Delhi serves as a portal for projects related with content, publishing and exchange between South Asia, Germany and the international book market.
The seminar is being held at the India International Centre, New Delhi, and will continue till August 3, 2016.
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