Streamed education is diluted education-THE HINDU-13-06-2020

Context: A model based on social distancing only ends up weakening the concept of a classroom being an essential laboratory.


*What we have here is a dilution in our conception of a helmet from its original meaning from being a gear to protect us in the case of an unfortunate accident to being a gear to protect us from being fined.

*Intriguingly, the act of fining riders without helmets has translated something valuable into the merely functional or instrumental .

The UGC scheme:

*Recently, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University Grants Commission had issued a circular to universities encouraging them to adopt massive open online courses offered on its SWAYAM platform for credit transfers in the coming semesters.

*Education’ is now being peddled as a combination of content and consumption, and this diluted meaning is being put to the service of achieving increased GER.

*The teacher is after all “an intellectual midwife” who facilitates in the birth of students’ ideas and insights through engaging in critical dialogue. In a conducive classroom environment, this role is often switched and the student plays intellectual midwife to the teacher’s ideas.

Sacred spaces:

* In education, the classroom acts as a space where skills such as dialogue, debate, disagreement, and friendship are learnt and practised. Although this move makes sense, it seems to suggest that the pure sciences, the arts, the social sciences, and humanities curricula are largely lecture- and theory-based, and, therefore, readily adaptable to the online platform. Implicit in every curriculum is the tacit assumption that the classroom is a laboratory for hands-on testing of ideas, opinions, interpretations, and counterarguments.

Social values:

*A diverse and inclusive classroom is the best litmus test for any theory or insight. Without a shared space to discuss and contest ideas, learning dilutes to just gathering more information.

Way forward:

*One could think of greater value-sensitive and socially just architectures and technologies that further foster classroom engagement and make it accessible for students of various disabilities and challenges, thereby adding more value to the existing meaning of education. But public education modelled on social distancing is a functional reduction and dilution of the meaning of education.

*It could add value only as an addendum to the classroom. Such platforms must be seen only as stop-gap variants that help us get by under lockdown situations and complement classroom lectures. This malpractice of the dilution of education must be resisted, else we are asking for multiple concussions.

Paper- GS-2,3


Mains Level : Government Policies and interventions for development in education sector .

Privatization of Education

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