Rajendra Dixit, former dean-faculty, education and social sciences in NCERT, strongly believes that the school pedagogy should contain elements that foster knowledge building. As a teacher who has nurtured thousands of students in a long career, Dixit finds India’s school system lacking on many fronts. “The main problem is that being in a large nation and having millions of students enrolling each year from different sections and societies, it is very difficult to coordinate the activities of all these schools,” he said on the sidelines of the ThinkEdu Conclave, which was organised by The New Indian Express in Chennai last month.
He further added that the Indian school system was not supportive of students with extraordinary talents and skills. “In earlier times, double promotion or triple promotion in primary and secondary levels was so common. During my school years, I was awarded double promotion. We rarely hear of students who graduate when their 15 or 16 nowadays. This is another issue. Students with unparalleled skills thus go through a hard time at schools,’ opined Dixit.
Professor Dixit also has strong views on the politicisation of textbooks. “There is nothing like politicisation of texts in this country. It is just a misunderstanding and as a person who has served NCERT, I can surely say that there has never been a conscious effort from the council to spread their political views through the textbook they prepared. NCERT has often embarked on the idea of producing more and more free thinkers and the textbooks prepared have this very aim in mind,” said the professor. “Apart from building world-class infrastructure to attract students and parents into their campuses, schools in India should give more importance to building an educational standard embedded with proper values. Nurturing the conscience in students should be their aim.”