Sunday, August 24, 2008

A "win-win-win" idea for education

This idea about improving education at the bottom of the pyramid (every one uses the phrase these days!) came to me in a flash when I was in the middle of a class when I wasn't even thinking about it consciously. But the more I thought about it ,the more I realized its win-win-win potential not only in education, but also in social integration. Doesn't it sound awesome?

Ok, no more beating around the bush, here is the idea. Its simple. Private schools strive to improve their students' performance. Government schools just can't get their kids to cross the pass mark since they don't have good teachers and labs. Private school students don't get out enough to have a good community-activity-based learning at school. To strike all these with a single effort, I say, get get all these students from private schools, to a government school to teach there.

- Government school kids get "access" to private school teaching (lets say the kids teach under the supervision of the private school teacher). Further, kids approach their friends first when in doubt. So, better learning prospects for government school kids. If teaching is in the form of a demo, even better!

- A student learns better when he/she teaches. So, potentially the academic performance of private school kids is likely to improve too!

- Kids get exposed to other kids of different economic background, hence get a feel on one anothers' lifestyle early on. I feel this would help moulding them into socially aware and sensitive adults who understand the "other side" better.

If the private schools involve all their kids and count this activity as a replacement of, say a couple of class tests, they can count it against their internal (or call it externals!) while giving a breather to their students from those mundane class tests. I think this idea lends itself to easy validation. All one has to do is observe the medium-level performers in private schools (say students who score 75%-90%) to see if tihis exercise helps them close in on the rank-holders.

Since private schools constantly strive to improve academic performance, if the school prinicpal is an "experimenting kind" this idea should attract her. I guess from here on a lot of implementational problems may arise. How does this strike you as an idea?

1 comment:

Pulkit said...

To begin with, that was well and truly out of the box :). Good stuff.

I would advise against linking it with marks or anything. The private school kids have to finish some extra-curricular "credits". This "community teaching" can be fit in there. Obviously, the students who teach should be at least 2 years senior to the beneficiaries.

My concern is the feeling of being inferior that this exercise will instill on the mind of the govt school students. They are not fools and they will ask the question: "our seniors don't go to private schools, but their people come here. Why is that discrimination? Is it because our school aint good enough?". May be, the whole thing should be pitched in as "discussion sessions" rather than classes.