Saad Sait — Executive Director, Legacy School, Bangalore
Saad Sait is board member and executive director of the Cambridge International and IB affiliated Legacy School, Bangalore, ranked Karnataka’s #1 international day school in EWISR 2019-20. Sait, who recently completed certificate courses in ‘Leading Change in Education’ and ‘Leading Schools’ from Harvard Business School and Harvard Graduate School of Education, is also co-founder of the state of-the-art Kai Early Years, an IB-PYP candidate school in Bangalore.
NEP 2020 overview. NEP 2020 has given belated recognition and high importance to early childhood education. India stands to benefit greatly by investing in nurturing its human and intellectual capital from the early years. However, a challenge, and very likely contentious issue, is to teach children in their mother tongue at the primary level, possibly till class VIII. Also, a significant void in the policy is lack of recognition of the role and contribution of private schools and institutions. The biggest challenges that confront NEP 2020 are the regulatory mechanism for K-12 schools, bureaucracy, allocation of financial resources, lack of trained teachers and political will to ensure it is well implemented.
Switch of K-12 schools to online/blended learning during the current Covid-19 crisis. Digital learning is the next best alternative for children during the current crisis. We believe that developmentally appropriate practices, rooted in research and proven practice, combined with the judicious use of technology, supported by ongoing professional development, can support our children’s well-being, learning and development during this global pandemic era.
Fallout of increasing government interference in fees and online education delivery of private schools. Several state governments have issued arbitrary orders to ban online learning. These ill-advised diktats are counterproductive for national socio-economic development. In India, private schools have shouldered a large part of the government’s responsibility to educate the children and youth of this country. These notifications are unwarranted, and detrimental for future generations. When such decisions are taken without consulting key stakeholders, they adversely impact the viability and ability of private schools to continue to provide quality education.
Legacy School major initiatives. We have been very intentional in nurturing a culture of ongoing learning under our Learn-Reflect-DiscoverEvolve philosophy, learning for life and life-long learning. This approach and attitude has helped us make an easy transition to online teaching and learning.
Six years ago, we began integrating technology to improve teaching and learning, and to develop future skills for the 22nd century using the Apple ecosystem and framework. Our teachers are now more focussed on innovating technology to engage students meaningfully in online learning. Moreover, we have continued to invest significantly in differentiated professional development opportunities offered by world-class universities and organisations such as Harvard, Cambridge and the International Baccalaureate to support our teachers.
Top 3 proposals for re-inventing India’s K-12 education system.
- Define a clear vision for quality education in India from the early years to university. Articulate clear objectives and develop systems and frameworks on a par with international standards in the areas of policy and governance, funding and teacher education, training, qualifications.
- Increase government spending and investment in education to address issues of access, equity, literacy, digital and education divide.
- Reduce barriers to entry and provide economic incentives to attract greater investment in education.