Dr.Manisha Mehta – M.Sc, Ph.D, Head of IB Diploma program – GD Goenka World School, Sohna

Dr.Manisha Mehta, an Alumni of IIT Roorkee and Panjab University, is an educator with over 20 years of experience in the field of education and research. She is currently working as Head of IB Diploma program at GD Goenka World School, Sohna. She has worked as a Head of School, an IB DP Coordinator, CIE Coordinator and as an educator for the IB diploma program at three different schools. She is also an IB DP examiner for Chemistry for many years.

Dr.Mehta shares her insights on the education system….

Exciting trends in Education
Education is becoming learner centric with most emphasis on skill development and context and not only on the content. Teachers are acting as a facilitators. They create a sense of inquisitiveness in the minds of the students; as a result students not only end up solving problems given by the teacher but create their own and solve them which teaches them problem solving skills useful throughout their life.
Theory of Knowledge is a unique feature of IBDP. It promotes critical thinking skills and helps connecting different subjects and at the same time helps students know about how knowledge acquisition is different in different subjects. Such subjects should be incorporated in other curricula too.

IB – Stimulating young minds
Yes, IB certainly motivates students better than other education systems. In the IB scheme of pedagogy, a positive milieu is created where students feel motivated and a sense of enquiry is generated in them. They further develop the zeal and creativity to solve real challenging problems. To cite an example, Our IBDP students organized an international GDGWS MUN in 2018, with over 300 delegates which resulted in development of camaraderie and organization skills among students. This also yielded generation of funds through sponsors. It may be noted that this was completely students driven exercise.

Mistakes in Motivating Students
1. Often educators’ spoon-feed stale ideas. They are biased and discourage new thoughts &ideas emanating from students. These educators don’t use modern aspects of learning.
2. Many educators do not connect the subject with real life examples which in turn encourages rote learning and does not ensure life-long learning.
3. Some educators fail to emotionally connect with students which keeps them isolated in the class & do not feel motivated enough to learn.
4. Teachers at times keep a dictatorial approach which interferes with student learning and is not conducive to a learning environment.

Problems faced by IB System in India
The major challenges facing IB education in India are:
a. The cost of IB education is prohibitively expensive making it out of reach for most middle & lower middle class families. As a result, IB misses out on good students from such economic strata.
b. The equivalence of IB Diploma &IB Course with 10+2 level of CBSE/ISCE/State Boards though done by AIU & IB, is still finding challenges. Many colleges in India for Undergraduate course have a very limited understanding about IB curriculum.
c. The Timelines of IB Diploma Education & that of other National Boards like CBSE/ISCE/State Boards, are different. The results are declared at different epochs of time making some IB students miss out on National admissions in a particular year.

The downside of the Digital Revolution
Using digital revolution, education for younger minds is losing steam in terms of community learning. Kids in Kindergarten learn the maximum through expressions, signs, connect with the teachers etc which in digital environment will lose its significance. In Middle & Senior School, the digital platforms & with the use of IT enabled platforms, students are resorting to “Cut, Copy & Paste” methodology which indirectly induces plagiarism and compromises academic honesty. In Indian scenario, academic honesty is missing at the conceptual level itself. This further kills creativity and thinking skills in students.
Schools are resorting to IT enabled teaching platforms using video lessons, tablets for all students, search engine based research on subjects etc. What is being missed out is the story telling methodology of the past which had a lasting impact on students because of the personal touch. Book reading skills are also soon withering which actually helped children enhance their memories.

Effectiveness of the education system in Finland
Teachers are revered in Finland. Not only is the profession extremely selective, but teachers in Finland are treated better, work fewer hours, and get paid more than in many other countries.
The Finnish education system encourages students to spend very little time on homework. They are given frequent breaks during classroom instructions to play with each other. This is lauded as a benefit for Finnish students’ physical and mental health. Learning happens in multidisciplinary projects that centre on complex phenomena and develop learners’ problem-solving and thinking skills.

The Goal
The challenge for us today is to prepare children for the future that is unfolding, bearing in mind the sustainability of the resources we live around with.We need to develop a learning attitude in them, so that they can adapt to change as the technology and science progress. A particular subject content or knowledge is bound to become obsolete with the passage of time but the skill sets we instil in children will remain with them and endure in the future. The problem solving skills, the reasoning skills, the interpretation skills, the creative skills, the social skills, self-management skills are definitely more important than the knowledge and content of subjects in sustaining a success in one’s life. Actually, the Math or Science or any other subject that one learns, to earn those degrees, are hardly put to use effectively. It is the emotional intelligence – developed through self-awareness, empathy, handling of relationships, self-motivation and resilience that helps children remain afloat all through the life, enabling them to lead a balanced and successful one, whereas the Intelligence Quotient may be just important for clearing an exam, wriggling out of a bad situation.

Contact Details:
G. D. Goenka World School
Office # +91-124-3315900
Website: www.gdgws.gdgoenka.com