Educating parents about education:
For the aspirations of the NEP2020 to be fully realised, the role of the parents of the children is very important. Very recently, on 20th October 2022, a detailed and comprehensive document (360 pages) has been released by the NCERT about the NCF for the foundational stage of 3 to 8 years. Section 10.4 of this document refers to the role of parents and community. Hillary Clinton had popularised the African proverb “ it takes a whole village to raise a child”.
“This is the first ever integrated Curriculum Framework for children between ages 3-8 in India. It is a direct outcome of the 5+3+3+4 ‘curricular and pedagogical’ structure that NEP 2020 has come out with for School Education.”
“This NCF is based on cutting-edge research from across the world in multiple disciplines which includes among other things better understanding in the fields of neurosciences, brain study, and cognitive sciences. Further, the accumulated insights from the practice of Early Childhood Care and Education, and the wisdom and knowledge from diverse Indian traditions are also im- portant considerations. As articulated in NEP 2020, it uses ‘play,’ at the core of the conceptual, operational, and transactional approaches to curriculum organization, pedagogy, time and con- tent organization, and the overall experience of the child. It also lays a clear path for the goal of achieving foundational literacy and numeracy as articulated in NEP 2020, with age-appropriate strategies.”
It is therefore important to suitably educate all parents about what education means today and tomorrow. If the parents and communities world view is that which they experienced during their youth, which did not have the benefit of being informed by modern neuroscience, they are unlikely to provide to the children the new mindset based on neuroplasticity and the dispositions to flourish and thrive in the future.
I have been working on and designing a one month WhatsApp delivered program for parents of children at each of the 4 stages of schooling described in the NEP 2020. Of course the same program can be delivered in face to face mode as well as through a web conferencing tool like Zoom. I will be developing the program in English, and it’s versions in other Indian languages will be created in due course. Of course this will need a collaborative and partnership effort with many other organisations with presence in the School education space.
This program is not about home schooling as an alternative, but about the parents and community’s complementary and supplementary contribution to what would be done in the School under the NEP 2020.
The destiny of India will no longer be shaped only in its classrooms, but in its homes and communities ( villages, towns, cities and metropolises) as well.