Education for Global Development
Greetings from The Progressive Teacher.
Before we discuss the theme of this issue, let me express my gratitude to you and the Almighty for walking us the four year journey of The Progressive Teacher successfully. We completed four years of publication in Mach/April and celebrated this milestone on 1st September in the form of the annual Teacher’s Conclave. This event, sponsored by S Chand & Company brought us not only joy and fulfillment, but also affirmation that we are treading the right path. On this occasion, the response from the teaching community was overwhelming. Not only did we have a packed house on a rain soaked morning, but enthusiastic teachers spent the entire day with us participating and inter-acting in the various sessions. We are humbled by your heartfelt and passionate response to the Conclave.
When we talk about Education for Global Development, we find that lacs of students from low and middle income strata of society face the prospect of lost opportunity as the primary and secondary schools are failing to educate them to succeed in life. There is a learning crisis across the globe because schooling without learning is not only a wasted opportunity but a grave injustice to children and the youth.This learning crisis is widening social gaps instead of narrowing them. Young students who are already disadvantaged by poverty, conflict, gender or disability reach young adulthood without even the most basic life skills.
Education promises to eliminate poverty, bring opportunity to all and create prosperity; but without learning it will fail to deliver on its promise. There is a learning crisis in our country. This is borne out by the ASER reports.
While primary school enrolment levels have increased dramatically in recent decades, this progress has not been matched by equivalent gains in learning. Many children leave school without basic literacy and numeracy skills. There is an enormous gap between the aspirations of the youth and their current skill sets;and due to the complete lack of guidance or support they are unable to turn their dreamsinto realities. Though great progress has been made at expanding access to schooling, the destinations to which the youth embarked on their schooling journey seem almost as far out of reach as when they started.
The World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim has said, ‘The global learning crisis is a moral and economic crisis…When delivered well, education promises young people employment, better earnings, good health, and a life without poverty. For communities, education spurs innovation, strengthens institutions, and fosters social cohesion. But these benefits depend on learning; and schooling without learning is a wasted opportunity’.
Our leadership should evolve a concrete policy to resolve this learning crisis. We should have a policy of not only education for all but also learning for all. If learning for all is made a national priority, our standards of education will improve considerably. Learning should be assessed. Well-designed student assessment systems can help teachers guide the students and improve the education system. We should promote brain development of the children through adequate nutrition so that children go to school ready to learn. This will come through education reform and then we will be in a position to talk about Education for Global Development.
The theme for the next issue of The Progressive Teacher is The Whole Child Approach in Education. I await your views on this theme for publication.
Festivities are in the air as the season of celebrations is beginning.
Greetings of the season to all our readers.
With best wishes
Rita Wilson has over 40 years of rich experience as educationist including over 30 years of experience in school leadership positions. She is the former Chief Executive and Secretary Council for the ICSE, New Delhi.
She is a consultant to a number of corporate houses and educational institutions. She is serving as a Member of the Board of Governors/Managing Committees of some of the most prestigious schools and colleges of the country.
She has vast exposure to the education systems of Japan, Germany, England, Thailand, Singapore, Sharjah, Dubai and Finland. She has initiated, conducted and organised workshops for school teachers and principals all over India
With a B.A. (Hons) English Literature, M.A., M.Phil. (English Literature), B.Ed. to her credit, she has edited three series of English readers and work-books for school children.