Most of us who went to school in the 1970s and 1980s will be familiar with the 3Rs in education: they were reading, [w]riting, and [a]rithmetic. Broadly, it is the same as ‘literacy and numeracy’ articulated in the New Education Policy (NEP 2020). The new academic structure for school education is based on pedagogical approaches.
Attainment of foundational literacy and numeracy should happen by Grade 3 in the Mission Mode, later progressing into the preparatory stages of play, discovery, and activity-based interactive classroom learning.
The middle stage of Grade 6 to Grade 8 (Age 11-14) is about experiential learning in sciences, mathematics, arts, social sciences and humanities.
The next block of 4 years — Grade 9-12 (Age14-18) — is about multidisciplinary study, greater critical thinking and problem solving, and the best of it all, the flexibility and the students’ choice of subjects. This freedom helps one pursue one’s career in one’s own areas of interest, while pursuing interdisciplinary programs that are of immense value: a big shift from regimented education systems to a system provides the freedom of thinking and freedom of choice to the students.
I am a great fan of the ‘Cut the Clutter’ episodes of Shekhar Gupta, and I make it a point not to miss any of the episodes; all the episodes are good and well researched. Today’s episode was about Xinjiang and Uyghur issues. However, he talked about basics of journalism and reporting, and also journalistic education. He talked about the 5 pillars of journalistic reporting — the ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘who’, ‘when’, and ‘why’.
He went on to say that due to advancement in technology, media, and social media, most of us already know the first 4Ws, and hence the new research and reporting in journalism should focus on the 5th ‘W’, which is the ‘why’, and then another dimension of an ‘H’ (‘How’). In many ways, that is what ‘Cut the Clutter’ is all about: analysis with objectivity.
When I was listening to this, I could not help but draw a parallel to our school education system, from the days of 3Rs to the transformational approach of NEP 2020, which is about critical thinking: the ‘why’ and the problem-solving, and the ‘how’ of everything. A fresh pedagogical approach to education.