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Education beyond Certificates- By Dr Anjum Qureshi

School is the source of knowledge. A child, who becomes a student after entering a school, spends more than a decade of his life achieving an education. The group of people called educators to reward these students with a decorative A4 size paper called a certificate. Educators are happy to see the good marks on the certificates. This certificate is afterward used as proof to test the abilities of a student who has graduated from some educational institution. Can a nation progress if educators limit themselves to certificate-based education? Should educators limit themselves to awarding degree certificates? To achieve a nation with empowered youth, educators should go beyond the certificates to provide the students with the 6 C's formula.

The students get knowledge but they can make meaningful use of it only if they are confident. A person needs the confidence to meet the challenges of life. It gives the power to succeed and enthusiasm to work. A fresh graduate will not be able to present the achievements or prove credibility in the absence of confidence. Lack of confidence prevents people from accepting responsibilities and taking risks in their social, personal, and professional lives. Therefore the first ‘C’ that the students need is confidence. The educator should work to instill confidence among the students. To develop self-confidence among the children, educators should allow the students to solve the problems coming their way. The students should be taught to learn from their mistakes. They should not be criticized for the mistakes, they may be doing. Rather help them to judge right and wrong. By adopting these few techniques, an educator can help students to believe in themselves and instill a strong sense of confidence.

After gaining confidence, the next 'C' that educators should work on is honing the communication skills of the students. Many students understand the concepts but they are not able to explain them either in a written or oral presentation as they lack the power to communicate. Communication is a process in which information is exchanged between two persons. Employers use rounds like aptitude tests, group discussions, and personal interviews for the selection of appropriate candidates. Many students are unable to make themselves employable as they lack communication skills.

The third ‘C’ an educator needs to work on is courage. Learning is not possible without courage. An educator can play a significant role in cultivating courage among students. Encourage the students to raise their hands and ask questions in class. Allow them to share their thinking with others. Make them capable of accepting critique from their friends, classmates, teachers, and parents. A student can never progress in life without giving up their fears. Let them try to attempt something new. Allow them to identify their strength and weakness. Teachers should appreciate the moments of courage shown by the students. When the students learn to be courageous, their academic achievements will increase and they will be prepared to face adverse conditions in life.

Creativity is the fourth ‘C’ that every student should learn. Creativity is often used by teachers to make their classes interesting. Teachers can plan a curriculum that provides options to develop creativity in the students. Once the students learn to be confident and courageous, they can discover their inner creativity. Being creative enriches understanding and makes life easier. The teachers can come up with opportunities that allow the students to imagine. Creativity begins with imagination. Many inventions that have been made are the results of imaginations made in the past. The creativity of the students should be valued and rewarded. They should be given opportunities to explore creativity in a worthwhile and interesting manner. Creativity is considered to be the highest order of thinking. It requires many other skills. The teachers should help the students to develop the skills required for the creative process. When the students are creative, they will develop what they imagine. They become competent enough to face any situation in their life.

One more 'C' that has become very important in the modern era is compassion. Technological advancements have made communication easier but have increased the distance between our hearts. Human qualities like compassion are becoming rare. Practicing compassion can promote good health and well-being. Educational institutions and educators have golden opportunities to enable students to practice compassion. The school can organize activities to cultivate kindness and compassion among the students. At the beginning of a new session, the teacher can initiate an activity to help the students know each other. This will be helpful for the students to respect everyone and get rid of prejudices. Each student should be encouraged to self-care. Let them identify their emotions. The classroom environment should be designed to encourage acts of kindness and gratitude to be practiced regularly. When the teachers focus on compassion they achieve better academic gains as the compassionate kids get better grades and perform better on tests.

We can never lead a meaningful life if we are not consistent in practicing the qualities cultivated by us. The 6th ‘C’ therefore that should be given equal importance is consistency. Being consistent can help the children in building relationships and practice their daily routines. It is a skill by which the students can use the skills learned by them throughout their lives. Consistency is the key to creating an effective learning environment. Being consistent with the rules and routines will help the students to remain in control of their actions. They develop an understanding of the expectations of the class and the people associated with them. They know what kind of behavior is expected of them in a given situation. The teachers can set up rules in the class that will help achieve consistency in the good behavior of the students.

Educational institutions should work for instilling these qualities among the students. It will help to develop individuals with good character. It helps to build not only good students but to develop good human beings who are an asset to the nation. The schools can integrate these ethical values during the early schooling years. The effectiveness of these qualities can be enhanced by the involvement of students. Education beyond certificates can help to open the world. It will not only create students who make a difference in school but it will contribute to developing nations.

About the Author: Dr. Anjum Nazir Qureshi, Assistant Professor, Department of Electronics & Communication, Rajiv Gandhi College of Engineering Research & Technology, Chandrapur

Freelance Trainer, Global Motivational Speaker, Certified Life Coach, Certified Meditation Trainer, Graphology Practitioner, Founder of Learning Tree


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