A new light has dawned upon the education system of India!
The education system of the mid-20th century has come to an end with the most recent National Education Policy 2020. The new policy proposes promising changes in the school and higher education system, it outlines the framework for the next 2 decades. The policy has been brought out after six years of debate and consistent review. The rationale behind this revolution is to prepare children for the 21st century; to keep the present generations and generations to come ‘future-ready’. To equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge that will make them conducive to a future that is to come.
During the inaugural address at the ‘Conclave on Transformational Reforms in Higher Education under National Education Policy’, our Prime Minister Modiji, stated, “The effort now is to emphasize inquiry-based, discovery-based, discussion-based, and analysis-based methods for children to learn. This will increase the urge to learn in children and also increase their participation in the class.” He also mentioned about the old system encouraged herd mentality instead of promoting values of curiosity and imagination.
The successful implementation of NEP 2020, this new promising education system much needed for India, requires contributions from all stakeholders. The word ‘all’ embraces the ed-tech sector too.
We, at Walnut Knowledge Solutions have been in the ed-tech space for the last 6 years. Our product, Quizshala was conceived with a vision of making children curious and enabling critical thinking, as we strongly believed (and still believe) that these are 2 key skills among many others that are fundamental to lifelong learning for a child. Our Quizshala program started with delivering, inquiry-based learning through quizzing. This also entailed discovery of answers with the help of leading clues and connections (how to think and work out an answer), followed by a short discussion that would give an opportunity for every child in the classroom to participate and be involved with the answer.
In the year 2018, we rechristened QuizShala to QShala. Why did we do this?
We thought, through the inquiry-based learning, we were doing much more than just asking questions:
§ We were involving children in discovering answers to questions, discovering their topics of interest and helping them discover their potential.
§ We were engaging children in short discussions post every question which built in them the skills of communication.
§ Apart from communication skills, we were building interpersonal skills every time they collaborated to work out the question and, critical thinking skills when they tried to connect the dots in the questions given.
§ Also, we were piquing their curiosity; as they would go back to research on topics that were discussed in class and then come back to the following class with more questions and information, and all this out of their own interest.
It was then we realized that we were not just providing knowledge in the form of quizzing but a bunch of skills too. And so, we rebranded our program to QShala; where ‘Q’ stands for Quest, Questions and Quriosity.
A couple of years late, team QShala was delving into some thought-provoking questions:
§ “Are kids of today’s generation equipped to take jobs in the future?”
§ “What if jobs of today’s world don’t exist then?”
§ “What kind of jobs will be available in the future”.
These questions made us realize that we may not be able to give them jobs, but we can definitely bequeath them with the necessary tools (skills) to take up whatever jobs arise in the future.
What did we do? We put on our thinking hats and decided to introduce skill-based modules as part of our QShala offering, completely focusing on the 21st Century Skills to make the Children ‘future-ready and empowered citizens’.
We are so delighted that our vision of “Curiosity, Inquiry-based, Discussion-based learning thereby developing Critical Thinking Skills for Children” has been echoed by our PM in his inaugural speech at the Conclave introducing NEP 2020. Further the NEP 2020 also lays emphasis on the approach to make our children ‘Future-ready”.
This gives us immense confidence and belief that we have taken the right path and now explore ways of how we can contribute and collaborate with the Government and other stakeholders in the successful implementation of NEP 2020.
NEP 2020 and QShala – A perfect match
1) Our “QShala Program” functions under the framework of NEP 2020. The 6Cs approach adopted by us perfectly aligns with the key principles of the policy; the 6Cs – Critical thinking, Conceptual Understanding, Local Context, Community Participation, Citizenship and Communication.
2) Further, QShala is also in sync with the changes in the pedagogical structure of the curriculum, where the grade demarcations (5-3-3-4) of foundational, preparatory, middle and secondary seamlessly correspond with our programs’ demarcations of sub-junior, junior, senior and super senior.
3) The NEP 2020 policy also talks about moving from “What to think” to “How to think” approach; and this “How to Think” has been one of the hallmarks of our QShala program and one of the reasons why children love our program. We even have a formula for children to use called ‘QMAGIC’ to help them think in this direction.
4) The NEP 2020 talks about teaching children in their mother tongue and QShala delivers outreach programs to children in vernacular languages – Kannada, Tamil and Hindi as of now and we are keen to expand our coverage to many more Indian languages.
5) The NEP 2020 talks about imparting teaching, learning and assessment through technology and digital education; and QShala makes parallels with this too:
a) We have been conducting multiple QShala online sessions for kids from 6-15 years of age;
b) Provide learning via QShala App; integrate different styles of learning; alongside running feedback and assessments too.
c) We have an assessment called the ‘Quriosity Quotient’ to measure the curiosity levels of children. This has been crafted after carefully studying children’s interests, personality types, learning types and the various dimensions of curiosity. Besides, it also tracks the child’s learning progress made during the program.
Over the years, our novel approach has resulted in what we call the ‘Quriosity Curriculum’; which is poised to effectively counter the drawbacks of our current outdated education system. The QShala approach is something that we always strongly believed in, something that we visualized much before than anybody else did; something that was ahead of its times, but today it is exhilarating to note that our convictions have borne fruit. We are happy to see that QShala is in perfect harmony with the new NEP 2020 policy. This gives us immense strength to pursue our mission of becoming the largest ‘Quriosity School’ not only in India, but in the world.
Our customers today are spread across many cities in India and our QShala program is running in over 80+ schools, engaging in excess of 80,000+ children and have worked with more than 300+ teachers. It’s without doubt that we wouldn’t have grown so successfully in the last 6 years from QuizShala to QShala without our esteemed and beloved customers, and we would like to thank them for confiding in our product which makes them future-ready and future-proof!