Anjum Babukhan — Director, Glendale Group, Hyderabad
A psychology graduate of Loyola University, Chicago with a postgrad degree in educational administration and instructional leadership from the University of Illinois, Anjum Babukhan is co-founder and director of the CBSE and Cambridge International, UK affiliated K-12 Glendale Academy (estb.2003) and Glendale International School (2015) in Hyderabad. Aggregate enrolment: 2,900 students and 300 teachers.
What is your overview of NEP 2020 released on July 29?
It’s a comprehensive policy. However, its success will depend on effective implementation. Specific to school education, extension of the RTE Act from preschool to class XII; options to select from a variety of subjects in senior school; introduction of a robust and continuous student assessment system, are excellent ideas. If executed well they will positively impact India’s K-12 education system.
How satisfied are you with the switch of K-12 schools to online/blended learning during the current Covid-19 crisis?
An online/virtual classroom can never be as effective as a physical classroom. However, the teachers’ community countrywide has risen heroically to the challenge of adapting to online education during the Covid-19 crisis. This switch is beneficial because now teachers have no option but to learn to use technology, online apps and platforms, and become tech savvy.
The past few months have witnessed increasing government interference in fees and online education delivery. How much damage has this caused to private schools?
It has hit private schools hard. As it is, schools are facing numerous challenges in switching to remote teaching-learning. Parents are also confused and government interference is generating panic and uncertainty. Prior consultation with educators would have yielded better results.
What are the major initiatives Glendale Group has taken recently to upgrade teaching-learning?
Since end-March we have provided uninterrupted online teaching-learning to all our pre-kindergarten to class XII students. We divided classes into small groups of students to enable teachers to provide personalised instruction. Teachers are also being encouraged to attend webinars and training sessions with all learning compiled into our GOLE — Glendale Online Learning Encyclopedia. We have invested heavily in online teaching-learning infrastructure, particularly in customising our learning and content management platforms and conducting webinars for parents.
What are your Top 3 proposals for re-inventing India’s K-12 education system?
- Incorporate technology in everyday teaching-learning processes.
- Design curriculums and pedagogies which encourage self-directed learning.
- Overhaul the assessment system to develop students’ higher order thinking skills. This will discourage rote memorisation and regurgitation of information in exams.