New approach to education system by Riverside School in Gujarat is now adopted by 35 countries
Education, an act or process of acquiring general knowledge, developing the power of reasoning and judgement, and preparing oneself to be intellectual for a matured life.
But in reality, our basic education system is quite confined, covering only some limited areas. But today’s societal needs are different. Good part is that, a complete new approach to education can now be found in Riverside School at Ahmedabad, India. Kiran Bir Sethi, the lady behind the ‘Design for change’ concept, founded Riverside school in 2001. She being a design graduate herself, thought of applying design skills in school’s education system. Through her planned practices and activities she didn’t only increase confidence in children regarding their abilities to bring change in the system but also charged their minds in logical thinking, resulting in higher performance in academic subjects.
Along with regular studies, students are also taught to handle real life problems of society. Some successful attempts made by the children include campaign to stop child marriages, literacy campaign to teach elders in family, anti-plastic campaign, auction of painting for charity, campaign to stop child labour, anti-tobacco campaign for elders in family and many more.
Through this new approach of learning, students not only care about quadratic equations, biological, chemical processes and poetry, but also about democracy, child abuse, human rights and other existing problems in their community.
Over the past eleven years the school has demonstrated that this new academic and real life approach together does not hinder any academic performance, but actually enhance it. Despite the time spent on self-directed community projects the students of Riverside have outperformed the top 10 schools of India in English, Math and Science in the national ASSET assessment.
It is no longer just about being the best at Math or Science or even the strongest or fastest; it is becoming increasingly important to recognize our children for attitudes such as empathy, collaboration, adaptability and skills such as team work, problem solving, digital literacy and design thinking. Probably world too feels the necessity of a changed education system, for which the concept of “Design for Change” of the Riverside School has already spread to over 35 countries across the world.