School education definitely and rightfully seems to be the favorite target with major CSR spenders. But while reviewing majority of the programs, one can clearly see one thing – every program is majorly centered around the teacher.
Whether it is a teacher training program, or a curriculum enhancement program, or a smart class/digital class setup, the entire focus of the program is basically to train, empower or enable the teacher believing that she will be the source of all learning for the child. We have observed that almost all of the investment, whether CSR or government spending at government schools goes to the teachers.
All this is happening on the basis of a fundamental assumption that any learning that can happen to the govt school child will be via the teacher. Looking at it with some more bit clarity, we can easily see that it is indeed an assumption. From our individual experience, we all know that a true teacher can facilitate but the real learning happens when the learner is positive and engaged in the learning process. Maybe for our government school children, we have missed a student centric approach while planning all the investment and programs for these schools; we have basically overlooked those kids for whom all this exists.
We at iDream Education love those children, and therefore like to observe whatever is happening with them at the schools and how we all can make it better and meaningful.
Looking at it objectively, a teacher can just do four things for a pupil in the learning cycle:
- Share information
- Clear doubts during conceptual understanding
- Inspire and Guide during exploration and application
- Take tests and evaluate performance/understanding
With the advent of amazing and engaging multimedia, the teacher today is relieved from the task of just sharing information about topics with the children. Even at government schools, this can be done in a much more effective and non-judgemental manner leveraging technology and multimedia.
But it is a matter of great sorrow that even this process of leveraging technology to deliver conceptual information was sadly burdened on the teacher. Knowing very well that the students are 10 times better and quicker with technologies, and the fact that the teachers never grew up with any technology, are scared of it, and may end up never using it.
And we, the funders and the supplemental organizations are in parallel seeing all this with our own children in the best of private schools too. That is where we are emphasizing more and more on engagement based learning, facilitating experience to our children via best of labs, tools, computers, tabs and activities and not just make them sit in a classroom before a teacher in a one to many fashion for hours.
It’s the same for every child, and more so for the govt school kids. If they get a chance to play, explore and learn, they do it way way better since that becomes their only source of edutainment as compared to private school kids with all luxuries at home too. Therefore, for some part of the school timetable, we clearly see gaps with need for playful and interactive, student centric learning solutions in our government schools.
Activity areas and well designed labs whether digital or hands-on, perfectly fill the space, where the teacher becomes a guide and a facilitator whom the child can reach out to if needed. Else the student has the facility to explore, enjoy, interact and learn amazing things out of sheer experience. Isn’t that how most of us have learnt everything which makes us what we are today?
We find immense scope in injecting at least one hour of student centric labs in the six-seven hours of schooling and testing happening at our government schools. We feel a great need for some student centric CSR and government spending for our government school students. We believe tremendously in the power of student centric learning programs as CSR in government schools.
It would be great to have your views on the same and also discuss the possibilities around this. You can connect to us at firstname.lastname@example.org