Schools today are working on developing the content quotient (CQ) and Intellectual Quotient (IQ) of the children, whereas, what the world really needs is emotional (EQ), skill (SQ) and value (VQ) based quotient and ability! When will we outlive a trend started during the First World War by Binet, who came up with the first IQ test to verify if men were capable to go to war? We are slaves to following the past, coupled with being blind followers of standardization through measurement. Everything is considered authentic and right if it can be measured! To measure anything there has to be content and hence, the education system is centered on testing IQ and CQ through various tests.
As a matter of fact, only 4% children score above 95% marks in the board exams. Do we ever question ourselves as to why the other 96% children fail to get good results? Can it be possible that 96% children are poor learners and only 4% are capable of coping with the requirements of the system? Could it not be that the system is not competent enough to cope up with the needs of those 96% children? For me, the only reason why the majority cannot score well is that, the system does not look at the way these children learn and is still using redundant methods of teaching, which fail to make each child successful. The world needs more innovative, problem solving and humane individuals. How can our children be prepared for the future if they are being taught through tools of the past? How can we improvise the delivery? How can we revamp the system? What will govern and dictate the future of modern education based on four factors – infrastructure, democracy, technology, and emotional quotient. Lets discuss each area in brief.
Lack of infrastructure: With the scarcity of land due to over population, building infrastructural schools is becoming difficult. Even if there is land, the cost of building a school is becoming huge and not viable to sustain. Yet schooling as a concept is here to stay. How then will schools emerge? Schools will need to reinvent themselves and will have to be based in any place that will link children to educators anywhere around the world. This may seem difficult for the old generation to digest that there can be schools without any infrastructure but, physical barriers do not bind the children of today. They are connected to the world by the blink of an eye. With face book, Instagram, Twitter, Blogs, etc .,the world of information is only a click of a button away. They have access to the world around and know how children around the world think. “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (the world is one family) is what our forefathers had also envisaged for us. So our education system in its content, pedagogy and administration needs to include this new thinking and perspective.
Today’s generation’s parent’s thought and way of life was limited to getting good scores so that they could secure a good job, buy a house and live their life comfortably. Hence, content played a huge role because this content gave them high scores which ultimately gave them entry into colleges and this lead to getting a secure job. Children today know that they have access to a world outside their boundaries. They have access to jobs and movements around the world. They want to experience the world, have a temporary home (mostly through BNB), enjoy the world they live in, and become global citizens. They are not insecure, and not bound by a job and definitely not frogs in a well. Hence it is not information that schools will need to give but inspiration and guidance to let the learner understand the information in front of him/her and to be able to tap into the potential of the learner and help them choose any subject at the level he or she may want to excel in.
Democracy in Education: Our schools today are making every child study the same subjects, at the same pace and at the same time. We are molding every child in the same cast – depriving them the uniqueness, special skills and talents that each one may possess. Where are their options? Why is a child forced to study math’s if he/she does not like? Why is English literature a compulsory subject, while the children may not be keen on studying Shakespeare? Why can’t psychology and biology be taken up together? With the collapse of walls, democracy in education will happen. What this means is that the child will have the freedom to learn whatever and whenever and at the pace that they want to. Boundary less schools will also give rise to democratic ways of making and deciding which content to study and when to learn. Choice based on the natural ability of the child is the key to the future! And schools will need to provide this so that each child may have the necessary basic idea of each subject but, will excel in the one they find useful intuitively.
Democratic educational governance will be possible through technology. Boundary less classrooms with the choice of selecting one’s course will be the norm. Online schools, flexible timings, choice of subjects and levels and multimedia, etc., will be a natural progression and a way of life for learners. While this will emerge, what will be the real challenge for technology will not be access or content, but, how to make the technology intuitive, so that the emotional quotient of each child is developed and nurtured. Joy and happiness are inborn and natural traits in a child. Research has proved that effective and long-term learning happens when there is joy in learning. Technology will need to become more intuitive and hence new areas of research in making emotional technology effective will need to be done. So that, with a click of a button joy, happiness, warmth, affection, care, respect, concern, integrity, discipline and confidence are all assessed and transferred to the child. This is a far away dream, but progression of education towards this will happen and hopefully research and technology will make this possible.
This shift from content quotient to emotional quotient and value building will transform the way our children learn. These four factors are indeed what will form the foundation stones of the future of a new or evolved education system and that will help in bringing up children who are global in their approach and not bound by physical boundaries and in the process transform the world.