Progressive Education Prepares Learners to compete globally


Although Dr. Binod Yadav began his academic career from Ayurvedic and Technical Education sector three decades ago, he has proven that he is a champion in delivering progressive education in Nepal.

Dr. Yadav served the remote swathes of Nepal by establishing a technical school in Surkhet. His strong yearning for serving the nation through quality education motivated him to enter school education and bring changes in the society. His contribution towards developing the country through semi-skilled human resources has registered marvelous achievements in western Nepal.

Dr. Yadav got inspiration to establish a progressive school after he came to know about the teaching-learning approach of Malpi School where his daughter was studying. He came to know that learning should be concept-based rather than content-based in this competitive world. He researched about it and found that the International Baccalaureate (IB) program aims to do more than other curricula and imparts inquiry-based education which is really effective for young people even in the hours of crises. In other words, progressive education gives students distinct advantages by sharpening their critical thinking abilities and problem-solving skills, nurturing their curiosities and honing their ability to solve complex problems by challenging them with thought-provoking questions, allowing them to think critically, helping them to learn about various disciplines and developing their research skills.

After a thorough research about IB and IPC (International Primary Curriculum) education system and finding that only two schools, namely Premier and Ullens were operating such education, he aimed to open a similar school for the children of the middle and upper-class parents. Then he founded Machhapuchhre School in 2072 BS and prepared all the infrastructure and pre-requisites as required by IB and acquired accreditation. Subsequently, he started IB-based education with the essential training to the principal, coordinators, and teachers. Currently, Machhapuchchhre School is running IBPYP Curriculum. Dr. Yadav has shared with College Readers the details of IBPYP curriculum in a short-interview. Excerpts:

What made you feel the urge to establish Machhapuchchhre School when there were a thousands of similar schools of functioning smoothly?

The idea of establishing a school dawned in us after a rigorous churning of minds and extensive research on the societal needs and unprecedented changes brought about by information technology taking place in the world, and the world coming on the scene after a decade. After due contemplation, we felt the burning need of a school that connects classroom learning with real-life challenges that our children will encounter in their life. We also discovered that education system, pedagogy and assessment system of Nepal have not changed even after the dawn of the industrial era in and is far behind the one required by the imperatives of the Information Age. Moreover, during our research I also realized that there existed a few schools that could cater to the needs of today’s children. Only a very few parents have access to those schools. To address this need, we made an advent towards the establishment of Machhapuchchhre School.  

You have been accredited with IBPYP Curriculum. How do we understand IBPYP?

In fact, IB provides a curriculum framework which we incorporate in the national curriculum through curriculum mapping. IB is an amalgam of various learning theories established after a long research in the educational arena. It prepares a child for a world full of opportunities and complexities. It envisions equipping a person with ten attributes like inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, risk-takers, balanced, caring, principled, communicators, open-minded and reflective. It focuses on conceptual learning and fosters social, communication, research, self-management and thinking skills. It also develops international mindedness in learners, which is very essential in a globalized world. 

How can we differentiate IBPYP from general schools?

General schools are also doing pretty well as they are imparting education to the children from various backgrounds. Adaptation of the curriculum to the changing needs has also been done recently. Integrated curriculum has been in practice for quite some time. However, change in curriculum, modernization of the approaches to learning and updating teaching and assessment system has been very sluggish and inappropriate to some extent. Regarding IB program, it embraces an all-round development of a child and is completely child-friendly. It prepares independent individuals by producing life-long learners so that they can adapt themselves to the changes that might take in the futuristic world. It emphasizes action and service in terms of assessment system, which is apparently missing from our education system.  

Does IBPYP Program assist in creating an atmosphere for full-fledge progressive education?

As I mentioned earlier, IB program is an amalgam of various learning theories developed by many 19th and 20th century educationists and philosophers. Progressive education came into existence during the 19th century in an attempt to connect classroom learning with real-life situations. Progressive schools rely on constructivist theory which believes that a learner constructs meaning on his/her own with a mere guidance of an adult. IB philosophy applies an inquiry-based learning as teaching and learning approach in class, based on constructivist theory. In terms of assessment, IB program follows backward design, which necessitates a teacher to plan for a summative assessment before she goes into a classroom. This suffices that IB program is complete in itself, and is more than progressive education.  

Education should incorporate knowledge, skills, attitude and technology, and should be applied in the real-life contexts. To what extent have you implemented such attributes in your institution?

As I have mentioned elsewhere, our education system seems to given less focus on the correlation between classroom learning and real-life situations. So, realizing this shortcoming, our school has prioritized action and service over theoretical learning. Similarly, we have ensured that all learners have equal access to technology as all classrooms are connected to the Internet. The Internet is one of the handiest resources of learning in our school. Education now must focus on skills and cultures as information and knowledge are available on the Internet as we are living in an age of Information and Technology.   

Nepalese parents tended to send their children to India and other countries for quality education before. Have you found any change in the trend after the establishment of progressive schools at home?

To a large extent, the establishment of progressive schools in Nepal has prevented Nepalese parents from sending their children to India in search of quality education. However, we must churn our mind over the quality of education we are imparting to our children. What are the yardsticks that determine quality education? The education we are imparting now to our children will ascertain its quality when they go to the global market after about a decade. So we must provide education or learning opportunities to our children keeping in mind the world after a decade or more. 

How far have your graduates been successful in competing globally?

Machhapuchchhre School has been in existence for seven years.  The students learning under IB philosophy have not gone into the global market yet. But I am quite certain that our students will be competent enough to get placement in the global market as IB itself instills international mindedness in the students.  

What message would you like to convey to the parents and the students?

I would like tell our parents that we can give two gifts to our children: wings and roots. Wings make them explore the world but roots make them realize our cultures, traditions and civilizations without which they might face identity crisis in the globalized world.


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