Daily Answer Writing
30 April 2021

Q) The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a move away from exam oriented pedagogy. What advantages does child centered pedagogy gives upon the exam centered one. (150 Words)

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/creating-critical-thinkers/article34443186.ece

GS 2: Education

Approach Answer:

Introduction: The COVID-19 has presented a situation in which majority of students are being promoted to higher standards, without full fledged examinations. The educational institutes have managed the situation by constructing alternative evaluation mechanisms.


Further, it is often pointed out that exam centred pedagogy doesn't test learning in formative manner and causes stress amongst students. This is thus insufficient to meet the pedagogy needs of the students.


In contrast, Child centred Pedagogy includes:

              1. Peer learning: A child learns better amongst its peer group rather than apart from it. It gives the child important lessons of collaboration, empathy and competition.

              2. Activity based learning: The activity based learning gives practical experience about the surrounding.

              3. Usage of mother tongue: The child must be given education in which it understands the ideas best.

              4. No hard separation between subjects: The division of subjects creates silos of education, wherein the practical application of the concepts are not used.

              5. Age appropriate classroom: To enable peer learning and participation in the classroom.

              6. Continuous comprehensive evaluation(CCE): Each child must be given personal attention by the teacher to bring out the innate curiosity of the child. One single exam must be replaced by continuous evaluation.


Advantages over Exam-Centred Pedagogy:

              1. Continuous feed-back: Exam limit feedback to only few terms in a session. Child centred pedagogy looks for continuous evaluation

              2. Comprehensive evaluation: It does not only evaluates theoretical knowledge, but also emotional, social, physical and intellectual growth of children within a framework of human values. 

              3. Opportunity to create depth in a subject: It does not end education in a subject once a student is declared passed. It gives an opportunity to created depth.

              4. Less stress: It puts less stress on a child to pass in a subject. Child centred pedagogy always gives you a second chance.

              5. Dis-incentivizes rote learning: Unlike exam based pedagogy, child centred pedagogy does not force children to replicate mugged up theory in exams.

              6. Incentivizes creativity: It allows teacher to adopt creative methods to make students learn. Further, students too are allowed to be creative; A potential which is limited in exam based pedagogy.


Limitations in the present context:

              1. Less number of quality teachers: There are limited number of teacher training programs in India. The B.Ed, M.Ed courses in India are inadequate to train teachers in child-centred Pedagogy.

              2. Huge inequality in education: handful of students who are able to attend excellent schools on the one hand and few who are unable to attend even basic schooling.

              3. Lack of Basic infrastructure: often the number of children in a single class in a government classroom are more than 50, and in some rare conditions they can go up to 100 making implementation difficult.

              4. No alternative method for standardization: Standard examination are easy and cost effective way to both evaluate the students as well as evaluate the teachers' performance.

              5. Lack of funding: The concepts like CCE, personal attention to the child, teacher training etc. need huge funding, which is currently in short supply.


Conclusion: The National Education Policy, 2020 makes various new assertions in order to create a child centric environment, teacher training,  greater application of Sarva Shiksha abhiyan. However, it does recognize the practical difficulties of removing examinations and instead introduces the concept of state census examinations at 5th and 8th class levels. Our long term goal must be to bring in child centric pedagogy by replacing exam centric one. But this can be achieved only after our other goal of raising the education expenditure to 6% of GDP is achieved

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