It's a Rumour That We Run Short of Books Every Year, Says NCERT Director
Director of National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), Hrushikesh Senapaty tells News18's Eram Agha that teaching process is set to undergo massive reform in India.
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The National Achievement Survey, this year, will be conducted on competency rather than on final results of students. Director of National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), Hrushikesh Senapaty tells News18's Eram Agha that teaching process is set to undergo massive reform in India. Edited excerpts:
Eram Agha: NCERT has, since 2001, been conducting National Achievement Surveys (NAS) periodically to monitor levels of learning in government schools. How will it be different this time?
Hrushikesh Senapaty: This time, NAS will be designed in a way that it tests competency levels and skills. The focus earlier was on achievement and final result. Now it will move towards competency and a performance-based analysis. Another change is that our samples are going to be from the district levels. In the past surveys, we were comparing one state with another, now we will compare one district with another. The feedback will go to the districts so that they can individually rectify the problem.
Eram Agha: Why is the shift from states to districts important?
Hrushikesh Senapaty: We have tribal, rural and urban areas in a state. Compare the facilities in each area, you will see a stark difference. This time, one will collate district wise data to identify the problem and provide solution to it. Children with fewer facilities will be analyzed on their performance and accordingly we will try and solve the issue at hand.
We have developed a software to measure their performance. Through this, teachers will know where the students are lacking and act accordingly. We are involving State Council of Educational Research and Training in the process.
Eram Agha: Does this also impact the teaching process?
Hrushikesh Senapaty: Yes, it will bring about change in the teaching process. Our focus earlier was on mastering the content, now it is more on gaining knowledge and attaining a certain level of competency. Now that the goals have changed, teaching process will also change.
We are conducting workshops in which teachers will be trained according to the new goals under NAS. It will help the teachers to know what we are actually going to measure and what is expected of the students. It will bring about some change in the mindset. This shift from mastery of content to competency will influence the classroom process. Even the National Curriculum Framework suggests that our focus should not be on memorizing content.
Eram Agha: The latest state to go for NCERT text books is Uttar Pradesh. The HRD ministry, additionally, has directed CBSE to restrict its role to examination and affiliation, making NCERT the only agency to publish text books. How do you plan to bridge the supply gap?
Hrushikesh Senapaty: People are coming to us because of the quality. We are not compelling anybody to use our books. Now 15 states are using our books and it is good to see a rise in numbers. We have sufficient books this year, and the agency running short of books is just another rumor created every year. We plan well, and every year we announce 15-20% increase in our books.
These rumors are created because our books sell, are cheaper and of better quality than the others in the market. Our books are the product of a diligent team that works within the National Curriculum Framework. We develop our books in a very scientific way. Our books are based on the latest pedagogical principles.
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