On challenges facing the schools

Shikshangan is focused on helping schools remain relevant, and continuously raise their effectiveness (that is, better learning for every child). Therefore, from time to time, I like to ask myself this question – what are the challenges schools are facing, or likely to face, in remaining relevant, and prosper?

My current list of challenges are as follows – one, increasing competition from other schools as the number of school-going age population has started declining; two, coaching classes taking away students from Std. 11-12 and later from Std. 9-10; three, the challenge of what should be the syllabus one should teach in the rapidly changing work-life.

One of the responses, I believe, to these challenges should be to focus on making sure that every student becomes a “self-directed learner” by the time she reaches secondary stage. This idea is also expressed as “learning to learn, or learning how to learn”. Such self-directed learners do not need the excessive support of coaching classes, and will prosper in rapidly changing work-space where one needs to constantly upgrade one’s knowledge and skills. Since the process of helping students become a self-directed learner is not easy to copy, or implement, it also creates a sustainable competitive differentiator from other schools.

Of course, to prepare students for entrance tests like JEE/NEET, we need to reorganize the syllabus of Std 9-12 in such a way that it leaves enough time for students to practice, as well as go deeper into the concepts. At Shikshangan, we have done a lot of work on helping every child become a self-directed learner. My next blog will share my thoughts on how to do it.