The writer is professor and dean, School of Education, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
It is important to recognise that the pressures faced by such students, even in regular circumstances are huge — the pressure to do well academically, pressure to conform and look/dress/talk in a certain way. The list is long and encompasses every part of their being.
It’s time that we reflect on the kind of world we are creating through our system of “formal education, assessment and rewards” and its implications on young students.
Our aim should not be limited to imparting children with foundational skills of literacy, numeracy and competencies but removing structural disadvantages, thus enabling them to live a meaningful life, simultaneously strengthening our society as a secular, democratic space.
Good salaries, regular increments, rigorous entrance exams, professionally valued degrees for teachers, autonomy in curriculum development and student assessment are part of the reform process.
News about how the different boards are consumed with somehow conducting the remaining exams and sending powerpoint presentations to children urging them to meditate/exercise will not help — adoption of student-sensitive decisions will.