SOCIAL SCIENCE To Sensitise Young Minds
Deeper understanding of social science together with knowledge of the contemporary world and that of yesterday will enable our young students to lead a well-balanced social life that will eradicate caste discrimination, religious fanaticism and social barriers, and empower them to work towards the betterment of our society.
The world including India allocates sufficient budget, spends human energy and invests on 200 plus working days of an academic year on the most precious members of our society, our future, the children aged five years to eighteen years in schools. We are not sure what really happens in the Indian school classrooms. There is no well-defined ‘academic audit’ to establish the outcome of such magnitude of work done both in the government sector and in private institutions. To my understanding, schools are sacred institutions wherein the seeds of our country are sown, to be irrigated, nurtured and grown to provide the most important ‘human resources’ of future India. Are these seeds well handled, thoughtfully processed in all spheres of knowledge and intellectual growth? And most crucially, are these seeds well treated and facilitated with the appropriate inputs to nourish them well in the domain of ‘social science’ as we find that this subject alone connects the growing youth to the roots of our soil. Don’t we have sufficient reason in today’s global scenario to look into the curriculum of India’s social science (taught as one of the basic subjects from class one to ten) more closely/ carefully under the lens of modern global India!
The aim, purpose and function of schooling is to educate our children for the future and the focus is making them learn for life. According to T P Nunn, ‘Education is the complete development of the individuality of the child so that he can make an original contribution to human life according to the best of his capacity’. Educators, all the stake holders of a school particularly the curriculum designers, heads of schools, professional teachers and even the parents should think about the quality of education, curriculum, the content, the learning objectives and the process of schooling that happens in our classrooms in all our schools. They should analyse, assess and ascertain the purpose which is served in the portals of school education. It cannot be denied that in most schools we prepare students only for the class / school / public examination ignoring the fact that each child needs to be prepared for the most difficult examination called life.
Even the most important elements of aesthetic education like art & craft, music, life-skills and value education are presented to the children with the help of bookish knowledge without realising the essence of inclusion of such subjects in the totality of providing a comprehensive education. Every person, by nature, is different from others. The chief purpose of education would be to produce good citizens through the implementation of education. Man is a social being. He cannot live apart from society and so it should be the foremost aim of education to inculcate a sense of social understanding in the child; to enable him to enjoy the various attributes of life and utilise his own innate power for the benefit of others. Thus, schools should assume wider functions and definitely set themselves the task of creating and fostering a sense of obligation and loyalty to the society by apprising the student community of the needs of the society. In the current times when a lot of importance is given to the learning of sciences, technology and mathematics, adequate attention should be given to enlightening the upcoming learning community to the environmental and social sciences as their content provides the most important structures of realistic education necessary to develop a socially, economically, politically and environmentally conscious democratic society.
The study of social science brings to the fore its significance and relevance to their lives, life-style, to their own families, to the society and the community they live in. The vital social issues, problems and concerns of the society should be understood by the students as per their age, more than merely studying the content to answer the questions from their text books. The syllabus of social science should be revisited and rewritten to suit the minds of today’s young learners who are not keen to study old history but to write a new history in today’s global perspective.
Even our evaluation pattern with respect to social science should be re-defined so that our young learners shift from rote-learning to real-learning. The syllabus should include financial literacy programmes and social leadership. The classroom dynamics should include discussion, debates, dialogue, case studies and panel discussions.
Deeper understanding of social science together with knowledge of the contemporary world and that of yesterday will enable our young students to lead a well-balanced social life that will eradicate caste discrimination, religious fanaticism and social barriers and empower them to work towards the betterment of our society.
Dr R Kishore Kumar’s educational career spanning from schooling with CBSE curriculum to the award of a Doctoral Degree in Education by The City University, Los Angeles, USA serves as an inexhaustible resource for his multi -faceted contribution to Schooling.
His professional career has spanned from being a teacher of Biology to blossoming into an Eduprenuer and his professional understanding is unique. His wide experience and expertise enabled him to establish and evolve quality institutions – St John’s International Residential School, St John’s Academy (Residential) and St John’s Public School, widely acclaimed for their academic excellence and social relevance.
He is the recipient of many prestigious awards of which the most significant are: National Award for Computer Literacy Excellence for Tamil Nadu (2003), Science Popularization Award by the Tamil Nadu State Government for Science and Technology (2000), Best Principal Award (1998) by NIIT, Chennai and The Times of India –Edupreneur Award (2014).