Scaffolding Strategies -Enhanced learning for students





The second webinar as a ling in the series Confluence of Education and Skills, the theme for the webinar on Thursday, October 01, 2020 was Scaffolding Strategies – Enhanced Learning for Students. 

Dr. Chhavi Bhargava, Executive Director and Dean, faculty of Behavioral Sciences, Manav Rachna University, New Delhi was invited as a guest of honor. She started her keynote address by saying that that the implementation of NEP is like moving beyond the regular delivery of curriculum and its transition to a much broader perspective as it encompasses a wide spectrum of educational outcomes. “NEP is conceptually very strong and is a big move for all of us” she said. 

Detailing the metaphor of scaffolding, the doctrine of I do. We do. You do blends itself well with the allegory of a scaffolding, as the scaffolding is raised by the teacher, followed by which, for a given period of time, the student and the teacher stay closely connected and, once the teacher senses that the student is confident enough of moving ahead on his own, the scaffolding is removed and the student is given to proceed further and take on the world. 

Delving further upon the NEP 20, she said that an enhanced focus on shifting from merely memorizing to learning how to learn in addition to the merging of Curricular, Co-Curricular and Extra- Curricular activities into single organic whole are two of the biggest gifts of NEP. 

Dr. Bhargava welcomed the subject of mother tongue being introduced as a medium of instruction in the initial stages of learning in which the child feels the most comfortable and begins to think, apply and analyze. The management of the rift, however, between the students who gain fluency in English in the public schools and the ones who are still used to the vernacular language needs however to be addressed. 

Dr. Vibhuti Sachdev, Dean, School of Art and Architecture, Sushant University as one of the resource speakers for the webinar, started her discussion by observing that NEP would urge us to take stock of how much of what ingredient plays what role. It has allowed us to think in our own deeper, profound way. “The study of architecture is a curatorial exercise which might allow us as well as the students to design the B Arch programmes the way we deem fit. It will remove the disciplinary blind spots and will be more targeted towards inclusions rather than exclusions.” According to her, the NEP should be looked upon as “A single or a multiple journey with several “Hop-ons and Hop-Offs” but as a platform for upgrading one’s skills. “Education provides the reflective space and therefore needs to re-design and re-align itself” 

“We are fortunate to be living in India as it has an ancient civilization, which is a privilege that not many countries enjoy. Be that as it may, we must continue to water our roots otherwise the tree in which we take so much of pride, would be impoverished. We should reflect on who we are, on what we think about ourselves and, as keepers of the thread, we should continue to pass on the vales to our next generations” She said  

Dr. Garima Parkash, Dean, Vatel Hotel and Tourism Business School lauded the changes in the NEP and said that these variations were really being looked forward to in order to disrupt the current education system and to introduce a new element in pedagogy. “The NEP prepares students to be industry-ready and stands to be crucial in the domain of hospitality and makes the use of technology indispensable and imminent. The introduction of multi-disciplinary learning system is student-centric and will create for them optimal career choices, especially as it is closely linked to the global education pattern.” 

The networking the Indian higher education with foreign universities, something that the Sushant university has been a big proponent of, would soon be a matter of reality for many other universities. This would favor the students and make almost effortless their desire to learn, intern and to widen their horizons in a foreign country. This would also open up, to a great extent the possibilities of international faculties and specialists getting to deliver lectures to a cross-section of Indian students and would allow equally the opportunity of faculty-exchanges. “All education must be multi-disciplinary, should pay attention to the creative pursuits and should offer the due thrust to experiential learning” In her concluding statement she said that since hospitality management stream does not have too many doctorates, the implementation of a 4-year programme, as ordained by the NEP would create enough room for students to dedicate towards research work. 

“The autonomy being allowed to the students with regard to the handling of the Credit Basket is, in my mind, the biggest bonus, which will allow them to utilize their extra credits for supplementary qualifications.” 

Dr. Monica Chaudhary, Dean, School of Health Sciences, Sushant University expressed her concern on the introduction of multi-disciplinary learning being applied to the domain of medicine, which being a 5-year course, is exhaustive by nature and, due to its legal implications, needs a concentrated, focused and a dedicated learning of the subject in which a student has chosen to excel. A doctor practicing medicine cannot switch over to naturopathy, neither can a homoeopath try his hand on surgery as none would achieve the specialization they had initially targeted for. This mélange of disciplines which are distinctive in nature and have a clear individual identity, can only be practiced by specialized doctors. 

“The need to regularly upscale the skills of professionals who are currently in practice, especially the ones who have undergone studies several years ago, manifests itself as a persistent need. In the field of health sciences, the practical, hands-on, real-life exposure is what is necessary and takes precedence over the theoretical inputs.” A big change, re-vamping and a coordination amongst the various medical fields and a matching pedagogical development is what can be seen as a reality in the NEP. 

Dr. Kanupriya, Dean Sushant School of Law took the discussion forward by bringing home the fact that law, as architecture, is connected with each and every discipline and function in human life. Law is about regulations and stands to be as essential as the flow of blood in the body, the study of which should be made ubiquitous. “Research, professional development and industry connect are the three absolutely essential and indispensable components and NEP, in its pursuit to implement them in the pedagogical systems highlights to a great extent, their prominence. The question as to how the BAR Council would align itself with the NEP, poses itself as an element of serious deliberation as we are still following the rules as charted out in 2008. 

“Research and critical thinking ability are the significant pre-requisites in the legal profession and, thankfully, NEP encourages us to induce them both in order to integrate a sense of nuancing in our pedagogy as the need to build skills and notmerely as a superficial knowledge is unquestionably imminent.” 


The system of Multiple Entry and Exit, (MEE) though being a welcome step by the government, the speakers of the webinar, expressed multiple views about it. 

“Whereas on the face of it, the MEE is geared to enhance the learning independence, the liberty of joining the course, exiting it and re-joining the same at a convenient time, does not, however appear to be quite practical in all streams of education, especially the ones like law, in which a seamless continuity and an element of steadiness are required.” 

Furthermore, the MEE does not appear to have been clearly specified with the relevant details, especially with regard to health sciences, as mapping of the subjects therein could pose itself as a big challenge. This also goes against the Allied Health Bill which is waiting to be cleared in the parliament. As of now, there is no standardization in the health programmes going on in the country as the duration of the courses range from 5 years till six months. Furthermore, blending this highly diverse universe of programmes with the MEE would be a monumental task. The decision to award autonomy to universities in this regard needs the due consideration.” – Dr. Monica Chaudhary. 

“MEE presents itself as a boon for students who, at any given point of time face the necessity of dropping out of a programme and, later on, decide to re-join to further pursue their course. In addition, girl students having to discontinue their studies due to marriage will have at their disposal, the opportunity to re-pursue the course in the given period of time. Furthermore, people engaged in their professions would also be at a great advantage as they would have the liberty to take a short sabbatical and re-pursue their studies, right from where they left. this would also improve upon their chances of advancement in career.” Dr. Garima Parkash. 

“The MEE can breed a sense of indiscipline among students who might abuse the system and jeopardize the very purpose of their study by understanding it as a revolving door, allowing themselves the liberty of multiple entries and exits at will. We currently are following outcome-based learning, or are adopting a Retrospective Learning System, in which we first set the goal and then chalk out a reverse action plan to accomplish them. The multiple entries and exits might induce the risk of compromising the progress during which, the student might chance upon better alternatives and the final goals, initially set by him might shift, endangering thereby their achievement. We should look at learning more as a process-based exercise rather than branding it as an outcome based learning” Dr. Vibhuti Sachdev