Over the centuries, Europe and India have developed their own traditions of education, each with its own strengths and challenges. Today, for example, the European system faces demotivated students... (Read More....)
Over the centuries, Europe and India have developed their own traditions of education, each with its own strengths and challenges. Today, for example, the European system faces demotivated students and a large number of dropouts. Or for example in India, the traditions of learning have been exiled out of the formal education system. Student are highly motivated, but the current education system imparts substandard education to them. And we are only talking about primary and secondary level education now. Similar challenges exist on the level of higher education. Because of these, an enormous waste of potential can be seen.
The India Platform therefore proposes to combine the strenghts and the challenges of both regions: to bring European expertise, e.g. in learning disabilities, activity-based teaching, etc. to India, whilst conducting research on traditional Indian methods of repetition-based learning and on the role of the guru in the learning process. Additionally, as Europe struggles to integrate its minorities and provide an inclusive education, India’s success in teaching in a second language (English is not the first or even second language for most Indians) and in dealing with highly diverse classrooms and societies offers important lessons for Europe.
Over the last years the India Platform has supported internships of over 20 students from teacher training colleges in Ghent. This activity, combined with a series of discussions with different people, has taught us about the needs of schools in India and about possible ways of interacting. A member of the India Platform has taken responsibility of the focus group on education in India. Together with members in Europe, she will work towards activities, notes and visits in this domain. Organisations and individuals with interest and expertise in this domain are gradually being brought together.
Two Indian stakeholder institutions who are running a series of schools, have approached the India Platform for support: the SDM educational society (in Dharmasthala and Ujire) and Alva’s educational foundation (in Moodbidare). A focussed visit to these schools has laid the groundwork for a more close cooperation. Workshops on pre-primary education will be the first area for follow up. As far as government schools are concerned, the India Platform will continue to explore cooperation with the Sikshana Foundation (http://www.sikshana.org) in collaboration with representatives of the Government of Karnataka. In higher education, multiple contacts and ideas are being developed, resulting in notes and discussions on policy level (see below).
|Europe||· Difficulties to realise their goals in the area of equal opportunities and integration of minorities
· Language teaching to the increasing migrant population
· Motivating children and students
· Few students in the field of science and technology
· Very little knowledge about Indian education in mainland European institutions, because of prevalent interaction with the British education system
|· Considerable investment in research on innovating methods, e.g. in the areas of language acquisition, science education, teacher training, etc.
· Great awareness of the importance of ‘inclusive education’ and expertise in education for children with special needs
· Excellent performance of some European countries in international comparative studies on school performance
· Embedding of teacher training in large institutions for higher education, where the staff combines teaching with research and service to society
|India||· Starting schools as a lucrative business, putting high risks on the quality of school education
· Immense need for qualified teachers
· Poor teacher training
· Teacher’s job conditions which are not attracting ambitious young people
· Very high stress related problems in school children
· Rather poor infrastructure and availability of TLM (Teaching-Learning Materials)
· Rather limited didactic expertise of teachers
· Very high student-teacher ratio
· Rapidly popping up English Medium Schools, but a shortage of teachers with sufficient knowledge of the English language
|· Very high value of education by parents and by students
· Extremely high motivation to perform well in school
· Science and technology among the top priorities of the students
· ICT and multimedia favorite areas
· Innovation in education in ICT and multimedia subjects, supported by highly qualified computer engineers
· Big investment in educational policy to realise high school attendance ánd quality of teaching
· Growing interest in Indian schools to teach other main European languages (German, French, Spanish)
· Traditional learning & teaching methods still very much alive in non-formal settings, giving rich opportunities for innovative research
The following publications are written in this focus domain.