Will classroom learning ever become history? Will schools become obsolete? Will digital classrooms be the foundation of new India? Will technology substitute teachers? Is digitization of education a boon or a bane? Several such questions have been on the mind of our educationists since Covid-19 overturned the conventional method of learning and development.
And to address these questions, the Lodha Institute of Teacher Education (LITE) partnered with Karadi Path Education Company, in association with The Shri Ram Universal School, Palava, and hosted ‘Raising Learners for India 2040,’ a 2-day conclave for Principals, School Management and Thought Leaders of the city. As iconic brands on the global stage, Karadi Tales and Karadi Path have been invested for over 25 years in promoting arts, music, literature, and language learning in the Indian context for children. And The Lodha Institute of Teacher Education is an institution that is redefining the teaching profession by nurturing teachers to become mentors through continuous professional development.
A first-of-its-kind conclave was attended by over 100 Principals from across Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and other cities. It witnessed the presence of eminent keynote speakers such as renowned actor, Nandita Das, theatre master, Rajit Kapur, acclaimed author, and P. Sainath, and expert panelists such as actor, Ali Haji, columnist, Anand Neelkanthan, and ecologist Anand Pendharkar among others.
In addition to an insightful debate on the implementation and impact of the ‘National Education Policy,’ the conclave saw varied panel discussions ranging from ‘Is Digital India Learning Outside Schools,’ ‘The Physical to the Virtual – Future Co-ordinates of School,’ to ‘Art, Theatre and Film as a language of learning,’ and ‘Global India 2040, the Guru in the age of Google.’
While shared often by teachers that ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,’ the conclave ensured that intense panel discussions were interspersed with light-hearted conversations and recreational live performances by the Indie music band ‘Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Café,’ Hindustani Classical Vocalist, Pt. Prabhakar Karekar, the father-son duo of classical flutists, Dr. & Pt. Siddharth Majumdar and Pt. Ronu Majumdar. These artists shared nostalgic memories of how their teachers recognized their talent and encouraged them to pursue the same. While the focus on academics is essential it does not define learning and education, and the last two years of school-from-home have brought this to the fore.
The auditorium at The Shri Ram Universal School, Palava was brought alive with ideas, opinions, recommendations, and provoking debates to chalk an outline of how India should plan to raise their learners in the next 20 years. While education is presently undergoing rapid transformation, the conclave made one thing evident that technology is here to stay and complement conventional learning practices. Nurturing the social behavior, compassion and emotional quotient of the child needs a human face with a human touch. Humans are humans after all.
This is one of the many initiatives that Palava regularly takes to enhance the quality of learning and education for its young citizens, in its quest to make them impactful leaders of tomorrow.