Are today’s children happy with the way they learn or are taught in a still traditional classroom? Do you think they love and enjoy learning in that environment? Do you think traditional education is still working for 21st century children?
While the answers to the above questions are both YES and NO, there are several challenges that traditional education faces today and that it needs to be changed to bring more fun learning experience to children. In this article, we share some major challenges that traditional education faces today and the need to be changed, as shared by three promising edtech leaders - Divya Gokulnath, Co-founder of BYJU'S, Michelle Sun, Founder of First Code Academy, and Mark Luo, Founder of Huohua Siwei. Below are the insights as shared by them:
Challenges traditional education faces today
Access to quality teachers and education
Since not all teachers are equally good or skilled enough to teach children, access to quality education is compromised in most cases in traditional classroom. To enable children to access quality education, teachers need to be up-skilled and curriculum needs to be standardized, which both are not easy. Moreover, parents also have a uniform expectation on what their children should learn and in which age.
Traditional education is one-size-fix-all approach. It is not personalized. Since it is not personalized, children can't initiate learning on their own. They can't learn in the way they like or that interest them. As a result, children don't find joy in learning. Traditional classrooms don't give fun learning experience to children.
Driven by fear of exams
Traditional education is still driven by fear of exams, not the love for learning. There is no fun in learning for them. No matter in which part of the world, from kindergarten to primary to junior school, children have to face a lot of exams or tests throughout their academic years.
Teacher-student ratio in classroom, especially in a country like India
With 1.3 billion population and with 359 million youth in the country, the teacher-student ratio in classroom in India is a huge challenge. While the ideal worldwide teacher-student ratio is 1:10, it is 1:40 in India. No wonder, with an ever-growing population, it's going to be even more challenging.
The need to shift to smart learning
So having read the challenges facing traditional education today, what do you say is the thing to do now? Absolutely, a shift towards online learning or so-called smart learning. Since traditional education is all about test taking, driven by fear of exams, not personalized and children don't find joy in learning, there is no reason to not opt for smart learning. After all, online learning is all about making children love and easy to learn anything in the language and format they understand and at their own style and pace. If we give children the right learning product, every child will start learning on their own.
Needless to mention, all smart learning platforms provide fun learning experience to children making them fall in love with learning. BYJU'S learning app facilitates children to come and learn on their own to increase and better their fundamentals in math and science. Michelle Sun's First Code Academy gives interactive coding class to students and tutors around the world. It believes that coding is important to teach to all young generation and that it doesn't have to be someone geeky wearing thick glasses to learn coding. Mark Luo's Huohua Siwei is working to change children from test taker to logical thinker. Using state-of-the-art technology, it facilitates attractive classroom to make children love learning and love thinking. The bottom line for all smart classroom providers is, they all bring fun learning experience to children.
Silicon Valley has its sights set on the classroom. But how far can it go from removing books from the classroom? How far can software go in replacing traditional educational models to smart classrooms? Well, as Divya said, "It's all in the mindset. What really needs to change is people need to understand that one can learn online. It is much better than learning in a traditional classroom."