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‘Oral tests along with class projects are necessary.’

Alka Pawar is an experienced science teacher of Orchids International School. She has seen numerous students in her career and dealt with all kinds. She teaches Class VII.

What do you think of digital medium in classrooms?

It helps to make a session lively. It has also become very easy to illustrate diagrams. I can now show the slide of a skeleton and just label the parts. It is not the same as asking them to look into the textbook or me drawing a sketch on the board. Also, the smart boards in the classroom make it easier for students to relate to the concepts once they go to the lab for hands-on experience.

What difference between the mindset of students today and a decade ago?

Students, unfortunately, carry a lot of attitude. This is especially true of those who come from affluent backgrounds. So, we have to make an extra effort to instill values in them. When we were in school we respected the position of a teacher and respected the age of a person. I don’t see any students being insolent with me – I understand them and know how to be with them. But what I am saying here is that the position of a teacher in itself must deserve respect.

What do you of the way CCE is being implemented?

Dividing the year into semesters makes sense because there is a vast syllabus. However, I think we can reduce the number of tests for formative assessments. Also, we must include a viva (oral test) along with the project assignments so that we can be sure the work is genuine and/or is not done blindly.

I would like students, in general, to take projects much more seriously. They must realize the importance. It’s their chance to get hands-on experience and score well. A project can easily get them 25 points.

What do you think of the pressure on students to be all-rounders?

I think students must follow their talent. If a student is good with art, music, or playing guitar I always ask parents to nurture the talent. I say this in PTA meetings too. Once you nurture it they will gradually find their own niche and figure out what they what to do in the long run.

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