A senior official of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) on Thursday emphasized on engaging school students in extracurricular activities for overall development of their personality and asserted that “burdenless education” has been the priority of the central government. A student’s learning process should not be limited to classrooms and education must go beyond them, the official said.
“To provide burdenless education to school students has always been the priority of the central government. A student’s learning process is not limited to classrooms. Extracurricular activities are equally important for overall development of kids,” said Dr Suniti Sanwal, head of department of elementary education, NCERT. She was speaking at a panel discussion on “Literacy and Numeracy” at the International Conference of Academic Institutions. The two-day conference, organised at Science City here, ended on Thursday.
Another panelist, Sunita Ahuja, highlighted the issues faced by teachers in imparting education to primary schoolchildren through online mode, an alternative arrangement made in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. “Teachers are the pillars of an education policy. It is a challenge for teachers to impart education to students of Classes 1 and 2 through online mode. In this era of the pandemic, teachers have to focus more on finishing the course in time rather than to teach the students,” said Ahuja, education specialist, UNICEF.
A ‘Vice Chancellors’ Conclave’ was also organised on the last day of the Conference. Addressing the audience, Prof Viney Kapoor Mehra, VC, Dr B R Ambedkar National Law University, Sonepat (Haryana), said teachers should be easily accessible for students if universities want to excel. “Universities are working like government institutions, from 9 am till 5 pm. Teachers should not tell students that they will not answer their queries after office hours. Teachers should be easily available for guidance. Only then can we produce good quality students and researchers,” she said.
Sharing his views on ‘building world-class universities’, Prof KR Venugopal, vice chancellor of the Bangalore University, said, “It is not enough to have students from some south Asian and Middle-eastern countries. To be a world-class university, we need to have students from developed countries.”
According to the Gujarat government, around 120 panel speakers, including 40 from abroad, shared their experiences across 21 different sessions during the 2-day seminar. Australia, Canada, Norway, the UK and France had joined as partner countries for the conference, during which over 2,000 MoUs were also signed between various government entities, universities and other institutions.