India a leader in skills expansion of national curriculum, new study finds

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London:  India is a leader when it comes to expanding its national curriculum for education to include a broader range of new skills for young people, a new study of 20 countries around the world has found.

The Economist Group’s Economist Impact research arm used the Learning Ecosystems Framework, commissioned by Jacobs Foundation, to find that India is one of the best performing countries in matching ambitions for personalised learning with the time teachers get to spend with their students.

The research also found that 70 per cent of teachers surveyed in India feel they have adequate time to spend with each student, compared to an average of only 50 per cent across the 20 countries studied.

“We hope that this Learning Ecosystems Framework will help countries understand how well their learning ecosystems are performing and how they can be supported to further evolve,” said Fabio Segura and Simon Sommer, co-CEOs of the Jacobs Foundation.

“But this framework is only the first step in a long process. We are calling on governments to collect and share more data and evidence on how different environments contribute to students’ learning and wellbeing. Only then will we be able to ensure that all children can realize their full learning potential and thrive,” they said.

The framework found that there is an effort in India to expand curricula to include additional skills such as information and communication technology (ICT) and digital literacy, breadth of skills, global citizenship education and education for sustainable development. Amid renewed momentum to reimagine education after the COVID-19 pandemic impacted 1.6 billion learners around the world, the new research released this week said it aims to encourage policymakers to consider education beyond the classroom.

The Learning Ecosystems Framework is designed as a diagnostic tool for understanding the strengths of different environments – the school, the home, and the wider community – that together contribute to young people’s learning and wellbeing.

Consisting of almost 200 indicators and sub-indicators, identified based on interviews with over 20 experts, and a review of more than 70 sources of literature, it assesses the key factors that enable learning ecosystems to develop and thrive. It offers countries a way to measure how their own learning ecosystems are performing – and how to develop them further.

The framework was tested and applied to 20 diverse countries, including India, covering 50 per cent of the world’s children, based on a survey of 1,000 teachers and 1,000 young people (aged 18-20) and additional data and desk-based research.

The Learning Ecosystems Framework was developed by Economist Impact and commissioned by the Jacobs Foundation, active worldwide in promoting child and youth development and learning. Besides India, the research covers Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Côte D’Ivoire, Egypt, Finland, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, New Zealand, Poland, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, UK, and US.

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