Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) In India
The Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) is a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) sponsored innovative educational programme of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Governemnt of India co-ordinated by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) aims at quality improvement in school education across India. This programme is a major initiative within the larger Quality Improvement in Schools Scheme of MHRD.Few decades ago adolescence education programme was unrecognized, unfamiliar, obscure and unorganized term. The term adolescence is a revolutionary social innovation, a result of deliberate endeavors of socially and morally developed child psychologists, moral reformer, sociologists, medicinal professionals and other esteemed experts to control the socialization of expanding number of disconnected youth. This new creation denoted the segregation of youth in different stage; a time frame between pampered childhood and responsible adulthood. Though education in India still remains the challenging and situation is almost same in many developing Asian nations as well.
Adolescence is lifecycle period between an age of 12 to 19 or 20, a rapid development phase of a child with regards to social, psychological, moral and physical. It’s a time frame when there arise confronting situations as the person is neither a child nor an adult; s/he goes under constant identity crisis and behavioral identification. It’s a vital phase of cognitive and physical growth. It’s such a delicate phase that it may take a child towards positive or negative ends of development chart. As per some experts, this is a time when children ego level is at peak due to sudden changes and imbalances in hormonal and recognition of self. They are charged with energy and feel at the top of world, they get more socialized but then their peer group plays a vital role towards their development.
Adolescence Education (AE) is guided by the National Curriculum Framework (NCF), 2005 which recommends that education should instil ‘independence of thought and action, sensitivity to others’ well-being and feelings, learning to respond to new situations in a flexible and creative manner, predisposition towards participation in democratic processes, and the ability to work towards and contribute to economic processes and social change.” Following the above principles, AE intends to give accurate, culturally relevant information; promote healthy attitudes and develop skills in the young students to overcome the challenges in real-life situations effectively.
As to better channelize adolescence energy and to inculcate behavioral socialism in them. Certain constraints, social norms and regulations were imposed on these budding youths. Education is one such imposition to better channelize their minds and guide them constantly towards a better future. As this is a development phase and a period of identity formation, there are various components of society that provides them foundation or raw materials to conceptualize themselves. Here, peers, parents, schools, teachers and school environment play a very significant role towards identity creation of a teenage.
To support the growing sense of self, school environment, the curriculum and school activities should be carefully designed so as to enhance their increasing base of knowledge. School plays a significant part in a teenage life as they spend more time in school with teachers and peers then their family. This is very soft stage when withdrawal of motivation is often noticed and at the same time a swing in immense potential is also seen. So the curriculum must focus on these aspects and should be designed in a manner to enhance their motivation, self reliance and soft skill traits.
This is a preparatory stage and withdrawal or disinterest in education or optimistic approach is oriented in this vital phase of life. Institutional learning, whole group leaning or classroom studies are significant towards elementary and junior level schooling so as to inculcate a cohesiveness and social bonding between students. However, scenario is almost different while graduating towards higher classes towards to dealing with teenagers. The role of a teacher transits from a teacher to a mentor, and a good school is one that emphasizes on personal mentoring relationship between a student and other components of a school- teachers, principal, school staff. As per various researches and studies conducted it has been seen that schools offering a motivational curriculum, focused orientation and nurturing teachers– -who are a guide, a mentor rather than a strict teacher, produce far more better leaned, skilled and academically oriented students.
And so here evolves the increased and dynamic role of a teacher, they should be an anchor of trust who can guide them towards their future not as a person to be afraid off to discuss the issues and confusing career opportunities ahead. A teacher should take up the responsibility by understanding teenage mindset, they should be supportive to their student, and they must be aware of psychological changes and transitional phase of an adolescent child and should engage students in planning for their own future. Not only this they have to actively involve parents, educate them to take up responsibility in teen development. A teacher should find ways with the help of their parents to further improve student’s support system and offer assistance to parents or students who need help such as structuring time management for student who lack these skills.
A teacher role does not end up here; she should be actively involved in providing all the accurate information about social aspects as well as provide proper guidance towards bad habits. They should educate students for bad effects of smoking, drug abuse-(that has evolved as a fad rather than a habit in teenager), sexual activities and responses. Moreover, it’s a responsibility of a teacher to counsel them about any bad habit, its consequence and find solutions. School should provide a curriculum or teachers leaning program that evolves teachers who are approachable and great listeners so that if a student is facing any kind of abuse or problem at home or society or school must rush directly and disclose or discuss with them.
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has introduced the complete Training and Resource material for effective implentation of AEP in India which would not only help schools to formulate a education system focusing on channelising the adolesecence energy in the right direction but also helps the student to understand SELF , to face the challenging real-life situation in a effective and efficient manner.