Making Curriculum Truly Contemporary!
The contemporary practices in the field of curriculum aim not just to ensure a free flow of knowledge in the cerebrums of young capable minds, but also to imbibe in them a lot more than the lessons they read.
The concept of curriculum remains central to the field of academia. How curriculum has functioned through the corridors of time as a building block of academia can be understood in light of two concepts. First, the dynamism across spaces and time. And second, the elements it has fostered into the lives of its takers, that is, the students.
The contemporary practices in the field of curriculum aim not just to ensure a free flow of knowledge in the cerebrums of young capable minds, but also to imbibe in them a lot more than the lessons they read.It focuses to proliferate their mental growth, physical growth and their socio-emotional growth. Thus, a holistic approach to development, so that they escalate as individuals, as beings acquainted with themselves and their identities, knowing their potentials and limitations, and being conscientious to mount the prior and work effectively with the latter.
Keeping up with changing needs…
However, in the recent times, the contemporary curriculum and content offered to children is in question. ‘Burden’ is how children synonymise schooling. The physical load of the schoolbag coupled with the mental load children are invited to carry as a part of the ‘’schooling’’ process is under scrutiny, Hence, the concept of ‘unburdening the child’ has emerged. To address this issue, three chapters from NCERT Social science textbook of class 9 have been deleted from this session. This revision is more in the nature of tinkering with the existing books, which were developed in accordance with the National Curriculum framework of 2005. The objective as stated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) is to reduce the “curriculum load’’ on students by 15 percent this year and 50 percent by 2021. It also said that social studies be subjected to greater cuts and textbooks will be made more concise and crisp.
BUT, there are bigger questions to be addressed on this. Is thinning of textbooks surely congruent with the idea of unburdening the child? Considering “HOW” learning takes place can bring remarkable insights. This question of ‘how’ might also lead us to ask ourselves, “Has the concept of term-end examinations fruitioned in testing the learning, or does it test the memory?” The process of curriculum studying should be synonymous with ‘enjoyment through enrichment,’ so may be it is the STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION of system that possess the prowess to make curriculum more about enjoyment and learning rather than cramming up and mugging the syllabus, thus ‘unburdening the child’ in true sense.
Students have a ‘happiness’ period of forty-five minutes that endorses the idea of bringing bliss, and mentoring how destructive emotions like hatred, anger and jealousy can be effectively dealt with. Let us hope that this new subject designed and prepared by a team of forty Delhi government teachers, educators and volunteers over a period of six months, achieves success
Further, this academic session came up with this innovate reform: The ‘student-declared subject-of-phobia’, ah, correct! Maths is now being offered at two level examinations for class 10: standard level examination and the basic level examination. With the same course and class conducation, the difference lies in the difficulty level of the question paper. Well, it definitely brought of baskets of relief to tenthees whose Maths had not been not-so-favourite!
Introduction of three new skill subjects, Artificial intelligence, ECCE and Yoga seems intriguing. While this sounds a vivacious move, how many schools are making an engagement with skill subjects, is the type of questions that needs thoughts.
This session also entails the efforts of MHRD to bring government schools at par with the private schools in terms of the quality and content being delivered. And wow, finally someone began this — the school sector in entirety to be amended as ‘not-for-profit’ systems. However, how this manifests and to what extent real changes are brought out shall speak of fruition.
Mental & emotional well being
After all these initiatives and efforts being made, one ‘happy news’ is yet to be stated. In this tech-savvy and competition laden world, the most underrated element of students’ life still remains their mental and emotional health as they confront pressures and hustle-bustle from their microsystems. To combat the loopholes of the system and make it more ‘well implemented’ and ‘development friendly,’ various institutions at different levels try their part. In this race of cramming the curriculums and achieving “more” in all spheres, we forget why we make children chase success to achieve happiness! The ironic part is, in this pursuit of happiness, we leave happiness behind, for it is the cost of competition, and then race for it! Taking this into account, ‘happiness curriculum’ has been launched by Delhi government for classes nursery to class eight in government schools.
This curriculum focuses on holistic education by including meditation, value education and mental exercises in the conventional education curriculum. Students have a ‘happiness’ period of forty-five minutes that endorses the idea of bringing bliss, and mentoring how destructive emotions like hatred, anger and jealousy can be effectively dealt with. Let us hope that this new subject designed and prepared by a team of forty Delhi government teachers, educators and volunteers over a period of six months, achieves success. Let us also look forward to having brighter days in this contemporary practise of curriculum and content.
Anuradha Pant has an experience of over 28 years in the education circuit. She has been instrumental in the formulation and implementation of institutional policies, Strategic Operations Management and in providing academic leadership in curriculum designing, promoting child centric pedagogies and learner evolution.
She has been propagating the idea of Emotional Intelligence and Scientific Attitude and bringing Life Skills to the classroom.
Pant served as an active member of Sahodaya, the team commissioned to formulate and implement CCE System in schools. She has been awarded with the prestigious ‘Young Achievers Award’ and has also been recognized as the ‘Best Teacher’ by C.M.S, Lucknow. She has been associated as a Chemistry specialist in schools such as City Montessori School, Lucknow; KV; Amity International, Noida; D.R.S. Hyderabad and Mayoor School.
As a YLE Trainer of The Cambridge English Program, she has nurtured in pupils, the love for language. Currently as the Principal of GDGoenka Public School, Sector 22, Rohini, she continues to stride ahead and set higher benchmarks of achievement.