EDUCATION TRIBUNE Tuesday, February 1, 2000, Chandigarh, India
 


Discussion document on national curriculum
CURRICULUM development essentially is a process of ongoing search for qualitative improvement in response to different changes in society. It should lead to an education system that would reduce inequalities and respond to social, cultural and economic concerns of learners and society and promote excellence.

Cadre of rural teachers required
By V.S. Mahajan
EXPERIENCE shows that high literacy rate is closely linked with congenial social environment, the latter itself is the outcome of interest taken by the state or some outside agency. In case of our country, foreign missionaries have played important role in creating such an environment. Little surprise that areas dominated by Christian population have a high rate of literacy.

 



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Discussion document on national curriculum

CURRICULUM development essentially is a process of ongoing search for qualitative improvement in response to different changes in society. It should lead to an education system that would reduce inequalities and respond to social, cultural and economic concerns of learners and society and promote excellence.

In other words, the curriculum should stand on three pillars — relevance, equity and excellence. Keeping this in view, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has developed a discussion document on the “National Curriculum Framework for School Education”.

This document has been prepared after a gap of 12 years, the earlier one having been prepared in the year 1988. The document highlights many new concerns and issues relating to all the years of schooling — elementary to senior secondary stage.

The document has five major chapters — curriculum concerns and issues, organisation of curriculum at the elementary and secondary stages, organisation of curriculum at the higher secondary stage, examination and evaluation and implementation and management of the system.

The document which has to be finalised by April, 2000, shall be taken up for extensive as well as intensive discussions, at the regional and national level by making it available to all stakeholders in education i.e. other national and state-level institutions, boards of school education, state councils of educational research and training, directorates of education, parent-teacher associations, professional associations of teachers and teacher educators and eminent educationists and educators.

This document has been prepared by a curriculum group of internal faculty members chaired by Professor J.S. Rajput, Director, with Professor R.D. Shukla, Prof Rajendra Dixit, Prof (Mrs) S. Sinha, Prof K.K. Vashistha and Prof O.S. Dewal as members. Prof V.K. Raina acted as member-convener of the group.

Some of the important concerns which the Discussion Document has addressed to are as follows:

* The school curriculum should promote equality by providing equality of access of education and opportunity to all sections of society and, therefore, it has to be sensitive to the needs of special children, children who come from disadvantaged sections of society and the girlchild.

* The school curriculum must inculcate and maintain a sense of pride in being an Indian through a conscious understanding of the growth of Indian civilisation and also its contributions to the world civilisation.

* It should respond to the challenges of globalisation and liberalisation. In the context of globalisation the principle of ‘learning to live together’ assumes great significance.

* It has to give prominence to indigenous thinking, cultures, innovations and highlight the contribution of India to the world wisdom in areas such as science, mathematics, medicine and cultural heritage.

* The curriculum shall have to be responsive to the new developments taking place in the areas of information and communication technologies and how it would influence generation of new instructional materials, classroom processes and evaluation procedures.

* It should be able to bridge the gap between its content and the living experiences of the pupils and develop life skills which would prepare them to face the challenges of society.

* The curriculum should develop a sense of dignity for manual work and therefore needs to be related to the world of work and also prepare students to pursue education for different vocational areas.

* One of the important responsibilities of the school and its curriculum is to develop values which would help eliminate obscurantism, religious fanaticism, violence, superstition and fatalism. Value education can be built around positive content, based on our heritage, national goals, and universal perceptions.

* The school curriculum needs to be such which does not cause stress and strain among the pupils and their parents. There is a need to think how good deal of curriculum load — both physical and mental can be reduced.

* The child has to be perceived as an active and not a passive learner. The role of social experiences in the construction of knowledge needs to be emphasised.

* It is high time that there is a need to recognise an interface between cognition and emotion and thus the focus of education covers not only providing mere cognitive skills (traditional 3Rs) but also to foster interpersonal and intra-personal development.

* Classroom pedagogy is not to be perceived as a set of prescribed standard and structured strategies but have to be in tune with the cultural context of the pupil. The pedagogies therefore have to be culture-sensitive which need to incorporate cultural practices such as story-telling, dramatics, puppetry, folk-play, community living etc.

* One of the major banes of our education system is the year end impersonal examination which has adversely affected our classroom processes and host of other activities. The year end examination needs to be replaced by continuous and comprehensive evaluation. Continuous evaluation refers to the evaluation by teacher alone, which he/she can perform on a regular basis. Comprehensive evaluation takes a global view of learners’ progress covering both the scholastic and non-scholastic aspects.

* Finally, the whole intent of education is to prepare a learner who is a life long learner by developing in him the processes of learning how to learn.

* Besides the above important concerns, the Discussion Document raises various other issues for discussion. One of the important issues that it raises is that value education can have a strong link with study of basic principles of major world religions and to this effect schools could introduce activities such as holding of morning assembly, arranging special lectures, involving students in community and group singing, organising national integration camps and providing them with reading materials.

* The Discussion Document also raises the issue of implementation of three languages formula and feels that three languages formula be implemented in its right spirit. It raises certain discussion points on the issue.

The discussion document also examines the case for introduction of English at an earlier stage. In this context the document raises the issue of emphasising functional aspects of language learning up to the secondary stage. It perceives a shift from content (literary) to the functional aspect — use of language to (reading, writing, speaking) life skills.

* As regards teaching of science and mathematics, a number of issues have been raised, such as the desirability of having two different courses each in Science and mathematics — one for those group of students who intend specialising science and mathematics at +2 stage and the other for those who have to go in for areas other than science and mathematics or who may, by chance, drop out after class X. The document also looks afresh at the issue of following integrated approach to teaching of sciences and social science in its real spirit. As of today while it is claimed that teaching of these subjects is being done in an integrated manner, the reality remains that the subjects are taught as separate disciplines.

* The document raises the issue of making use of thematic approach in organising the curriculum of social science to reduce load in the area. Another important issue which the document has raised is to perceive work education, art education and health and physical education as unified area of study and activity that will have lot of a flexibility and freedom depending on local needs and resources.

* At the senior secondary stage introducing the idea of grade and semesterisation has been suggested and having courses which can be self-contained and also providing linkages with the world of work or higher education.

* The Document raises certain basic questions relating to evaluation and examination such as (a) whether there should be school based evaluation and at which stage public examination could commence (b) Can we think of a combination of both school based and public examination system (c) Should there be grading or marks system (d) How to empower teachers to exercise constraint and be judicious? (e) How to ensure reliability and validity in such evaluation and also (f) how semsterisation system can be introduced at plus two level?

* The issue of making Educational Testing Service (ETS) functional as suggested in National Policy on Education 1986 has also been raised.

* The document provides an elaborate and systematic analysis of implementation strategies for realising all the concerns and issues raised in the document. It emphasises a need for politico administrative will and accountability for effective implementation of school curriculum. It also highlights the involvement and participation of parents, community and their education in implementing the school curriculum. It strongly feels allocating six per cent of GDP would ensure the implementation of concerns and issues raised in the Discussion Document.
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Cadre of rural teachers required
By V.S. Mahajan

EXPERIENCE shows that high literacy rate is closely linked with congenial social environment, the latter itself is the outcome of interest taken by the state or some outside agency. In case of our country, foreign missionaries have played important role in creating such an environment. Little surprise that areas dominated by Christian population have a high rate of literacy.

During pre-Independence, it was the Church that brought literacy to the doors of a common man and in this process non-Christians in the neighbourhood too benefited. This is borne from the experience of Kerala which has a high Christian population where there is practically cent per cent literacy, both among Christians as well non-Christians (including Muslims who constitute 25 per cent of population). It is, of course, true that the state also has played an important role.

When we move to the north-east, we find the same phenomenon in the tribal societies of Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya which enjoy a very high rate of literacy mainly because there is an overwhelming percentage of Christian population, much higher than in Kerala.

On the other hand in non-Christian dominated areas, the literacy rate was low in pre-Independence days when school education here was mainly confined the urban areas and largely controlled by religious and denominational institutions and to some extent by provincial education departments.

In fact, government schools were few. Thus, education was left to the care of the private sector where Christian missionaries and local religious groups played a significant role.

The latter (local religious groups) however, unlike Christian missionaries confined, themselves to better off members of society who could afford to pay for education. It was seldom free, except in case of promising students. It was because of this that only a small percentage of population could benefit from such a system .

After Independence, we took a solemn pledge to eradicate illiteracy that the country suffered from as early as possible but not later than the next 50 years when nobody would be illiterate. While we promised education to all by the end of the century, experience has shown that we have hardly made any sincere and determined effort to root out illiteracy.

After Independence foreign missionaries made good progress in school education. However, in case of local groups the status quo continued. School education has continued to be dominated by these groups except that they have made it more costly by foraying in a big way to the public school system. Almost all private bodies have changed to this system, charging high fees which only children of better off families can afford.

At the state level not much effort has been made except that more government schools have been opened and these mostly in urban areas where lower middle class children as well those belonging to poor families are admitted.

unfortunately, under the system mostly children of lower middle class families have benefited.

At the village level, some change has occurred with more funds made available for the spread of education at the grassroots level. But then no concrete results have emerged because the programme was never well-framed, much less executed. Most funds for education at the state level have continued to feed higher education as indicated by the fast growth of new universities whose number has multiplied from a bare dozen in pre-Independence days to the mind-boggling figure of near 200 now and over 6000 colleges that have come up in prestigious locations and buildings.

In addition, there has been a fast growth of professional institutions. All institutions by large cater to the needs of Urban elite members though these are funded and maintained by the state exchequer.

Thus in the post-Independence era it has been the elite system of education, both at the private and state level, that has come to dominate.

The private sector has never felt encouraged to work in the rural sector. The result is that even after more than half a century, the literacy rate is not more than 50 per cent; even this figure has been questioned as well as the quality of education imparted.

Further, in the literacy programme there has been high sex discrimination. Female education has lagged far behind male education. In several parts of this country there are villages — particularly in the states of Bihar, U.P., M.P. and Rajasthan — where there is hardly any literate female.

We should give top priority to the rural literacy programme where sufficient funds should be made available. Further, it should be ensured that these are utilised for the purpose meant. Every village should be equipped with a minimum of two schools, one for boys and other for girls, with the needed infrastructure as well as teachers.

To ensure that teachers take interest in running rural schools, a cadre of rural teachers should be encouraged instead of employing urban-based teachers.

The nature of teaching programme for village children should have close bearing with their own problems.

Further, as far as possible vocational education should be encouraged which will also help raise the quality of rural manpower. In fact, several items of daily need should be met from local production instead of getting these from outside. This will also encourage rural employment and discourage migration to urban areas.

In the field of rural education, panchayats should be made to play a more dominant role. In fact, the panchayat functionaries should themselves be educated which would help them to take a keener interest in education.

The NGOs should be involved in rural education. This would help spread education faster and possibly better. At the same time, care should be taken to select right people and they should be paid well for their services.

The District Education officer and his team should maintain close contact with the rural population instead of confining themselves to headquarters. Such mobility would help in better management of rural education, including the expenditure part.
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DEADLINE

Armed Forces

Feb 28 Indian Coast Gaurd, HQ, National Stadium Complex, Near Patiala House Courts, New Delhi 110001

* Recruitment of Diploma Holders (Elect/Electron Engg) as Yantriks (Technical Sailors).

Elig: Matriculation, Dip in Elect/Electron Engg (50%) (45% for SC/ST). Age: 22 years (27 for SC/ST, 25 for OBC) as on July 1, 2000.

Selection: Shortlisted candidates will be called for selection test/interview.

Appln Format & Detailed Info: Employment News 22-28 Jan 2000.

Civil Services Coaching for Visually Impired

Feb 10 National Institute for the Visually Handicapped, (M/o Social Justice & Empowerment, Gol), 116, Rajpur Rd, Dehra Dun 248001 UP.

Coaching for Civil Services (Prelim) Exam-2000 (3 mths)

Elig: Bachelor’s/PG degree (55%)

Appln: Appln on plain paper along with proof of application to UPSC.

Computers

Mar 08 Indian Institute of Information Technology & Management (IIITM)

(an autonomous institution of M/o HRD, Gol), Gola Ka Mandir Rd, Gwalior 474005.

* Integrated Postgraduate Diploma in Information Technology/Management & Information Technology (5 yrs)

Elig: 10+2with PCM. Age: Born before Oct 1, ‘83.

Selection: Written exam (2 parts); Apr 29.

Appln Form: Send Rs 500/- (Rs 250/- for SC/ST) by crossed DD favouring “IIITM Gwalior” payable at Gwalior to the Project Manager (IIITM Test), Educational Consultants India Ltd Ed, CIL House, 18A, Sector 16A, Noida 201301 to reach before Mar 4.

Fire Engineering

National Institute of Fire Engineering, S-331, Greater Kailash II, New Delhi 110048.

Ph: 6425238. (Email: akriti sharma@hotmail.com)

1. Diploma in Fire Engineering (1 yrs)

2. Certificate Course in Fire Engineering (6-mths)

Elig: Fir 1): Class XII, For 2): Class X.

Admission Test: May 11 at 9 centres including New Delhi.

Appln Form: Send Rs 125/- by DD favouring “NIFE” payable at Delhi to the above address or Rs 100/- in cash at counter.

Hotel Management

Institute of Advanced Management, Hotel Management College, AE 486, Salt Lake City, Calcutta 700064.

Ph: 033-3377726. Website:www.iam.com

* Integrated Diploma & Degree in Hotel Management (3 yrs)

Elig: Class XII

Admission Test: May 11 at 9 centres including New Delhi.

Appln Form: Send Rs 350/- by DD/MO to the above address or Rs 300/- in cash at counter.

Management

Feb 29 The Times School of Marketing, 10, Daryaganj, New Delhi 110002.

Ph: 3273514, 3266081

* Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing Mgmt (1 yrs, FT)

Elig: Bachelor’s degree 50% agg)

Written Test: March 26 followed by GD & Interview.

Apln Form: Send Rs 500/- by DD favouring “The Times School of Marketing”, payable at New Delhi along with self-addressed, stamped (Rs 25) envelope (10x12cm) to the above address before Feb 15.

Forms also available at: Chandigarh 779016-18.

Feb 10 Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Mgmt & Technology, 29, Theatre Rd, Cantonment, Bareilly 243001.

* PG Diploma in Business Management (2-yrs, F/T).

Elig: Bachelor’s degree.

Written Test: Feb 20 at 10 centres including B’lore, Chandi & Delhi. (Foreign nationals/NRIs/NRI sponsored candidates and all commissioned Defence Service Officers are exempted from Written Test).

Appln Form: Send Rs 550/- by DD favouring “LBS Institute of Management & Technology, Bareilly” or Rs 500/- in cash at Counter.

Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Vastrapur, Ahmedabad 380015.

* Academic Associates

Specialisation Areas: Bus Policy, Educnl Innovations, Comp & Info Systems, Mgmt in Agri Communication, Eco, Finance & Accounting, International Mgmt, Marketing, Org Behaviour, Personnel & Industl Rel Producn & Quantitative Methods, Public Systems.

Elig: Postgraduation in relevant discipline. Age 21-27 yrs.

Appln: Apply on plain paper to “Personnel Officer at above address.

Research

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Homi Bhabha Rd, Colaba, Mumbai-400005.

Webpage: http:/www.tifr.res.in

PhD Programmes

* School of Natural Sciences:

Theoretical studies in Phy & Astrophysics, Experimental studies in Astronomy, High Energy Cosmic Ray Physics, High Energy Phy; Gravitation; Condensed Matter Phy, Materials Sc, Semiconductor Phy, Nuclear Phy, Atomic, Molecular & Optical Sc, Chemical Sc; Biol Sc (Mumbai & NCBS, B’lore); Radio Astronomy & Astrophysics (NCRA, Pune & Ooty).

* School of Technology & Computer Science:

Theoretical Comp Sc, Embedded Systems, Networks & Architecture and Speech Recognition (Mumbai), computational Maths (Pune).

Elig:

* For all areas of Physical Sc: MSc in Phy/ Astro/ Maths/ BE/ME/ BTech/MTech

* For Inter-disciplinary areas of Phy & Chem: M.Sc in Phy/Phy Chem/Chem.

* For NCRA: M.Sc in Phy/Astronomy/Appl Phy or B.Sc (Engg)BE//ME/B.Tech./MTech

* For Chemical Science: M.Sc in Chem/Phy/Any branch of Biosciences.

* For Biological Sciences (including NCBS,B’lore): M.Sc in Phy/Chem/Maths/any branch of Biol/basic degree in Appl Sc e.g. Med & Engg.

* For Teach & Comp Sc: BE/B.Tech/ME/MTech in Comp Sc Exceptional candidates with M.Sc in Maths/Phy with good background in computer/Technology may also be considered.

Written Test & Interview: May 19-June 18.

Appln Form: Send Rs 100/- by DD favouring “Tata Institute of Fundamental Research” along with self-addressed stamped (Rs 9/-) envelope (9”x12”) to the Established Officer superscribing the envelope GS-2000.

School Scholarships

Feb 28 Rashtriya Jagriti Sansthan, 62, Sainik Farms, New Delhi 110062.

Ph: 6866983 Jagriti Independence Scholarships for:

1) Class XI & XII (in 3-yrs graduation)

2) Class IX & X (in 2-yrs of Class XI & XII)

3) Class VII & VIII (in 2 yrs of Class IX & X)

Appln Form & Prospectus: Send Rs 50/- by DD/PO favouring “Rashtriya Jagriti Sansthan, NCTP” payable at New Delhi along with self-addressed stamped (Rs 6/-) envelope (9”x 6”) to above address.
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CAREER HOTLINE

I am keen on joining the Indian Air Force. Could you tell me about the eligibility criteria and the selection procedure.

Sharad Dwivedi, Jalandhar

There are two routes for joining the Indian Air Force — one, after 10+2 via the National Defence Academy (NDA) Examination and the other, after graduation via the Combined Defence Services Examination (CDSE).

The eligibility criteria are as follows:

For NDA: Unmarried males aged between 16-19 years, 10+2 with physics and maths.

For CDSE: Unmarried males aged between 19-23 years; BSc with Physics and/or Maths or BE.

Upon successful completion of training, cadets are absorbed as permanent commissioned officers in the Flying Branch of the IAF.

The notifications for both the exams appear in leading national dailies in the months of April/May and October/November each year.

Having completed BA in Geology (Hons), I’m now keen on doing postgraduation in Geology. Can I opt for a master’s course in Geology with no science subjects either at the 10+2 or degree level.

Ankur Sharma, Chandigarh

Postgraduate courses in Geology are offered only at the MSc-level and not as MA programmes. The minimum eligibility for these courses in BSc. Hence, you are not eligible for MSc courses in Geology.

I wish to do a course in materials management. Could you tell me about the courses offered by the Indian Institute of Materials Management, Bangalore.

Sanjay Bhattal, Hoshiarpur

The Indian Institute of Materials Management offers the following courses:

* Graduate Diploma in Materials Management. Duration: 2 years (regular) or 3 years (Corresp). Eligibility. Graduation in any discipline or Diploma in Engineering.

* Postgraduate Diploma in Materials Management. Duration: 3 years (Corresp). Eligibility: Graduation (above 55% aggregate) with 2-year supervisory experience in materials management.

For further information, you may contact:

* Indian Institute of Materials Management, NJQ Education Wing, 247, Raheja Arcade, Koramangala 560095.

* Indian Institute of Materials Management, NHQ Secretariat, 405, Kaliandas Udyog Bhavan, Prabhadevi, Mumbai 400025.

I’m doing BSc from RKMVCC (Rahara). I wish to take up a course in air ticketing. Could you tell me about the courses.

C. K. Burman, Rahara

* The following Institutes offer short-term courses in Air Ticketing:

* Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management (Delhi Chapter), M/o Tourism and Delhi Tourism), 9, Nyaya Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021.

* Sita Academy, M-135, Connaught Circus, New Delhi 110001.

* New Delhi YMCA, Institute for Civil Services, Jai Singh Road, New Delhi 110001.

* YMCA Nizamuddin, Nizamuddin East, New Delhi 110013.

* Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management (M/o of Tourism, Govt. of India), Govinpuri, Gwalior (MP) 474011.

* Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, 1, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi 110001.

This is your column. Please feel free to e-mail your comments and suggestions to: caring@theoffice.net

— Pervin Malhotra, Director

CARING (Career Information & Guidance), New Delhi.
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Home

DIARY

Psychological profiling

Schools in the USA are beginning to use psychological profiling to identify students likely to cause violence in the classroom. Supporters believe the technique, widely used in law enforcement, could prove invaluable in bringing a greater sense of security to schools. Critics are raising questions about whether such forensic dragnets could undermine the climate of learning in an institution that aims to nurture kids, reports The Christian Science Monitor. They argue that rumours and suspicions can quickly harden into stigmas in the halls and lunch rooms of a public school. School homicides are extremely rare events. A student has less than a one in million chance of a school-associated violent death, according to the US Department of Justice. Nonetheless, since the 1999 shootings in Littleton, Colorado, administrators have tried to reassure parents and the community that safety is a priority. School psychologists caution that technology and forensics are a poor substitute for better human relations in schools.

Law against parents

Public school districts across the USA are teaming up with prosecutors to fight truancy, threatening jail time and fines for parents of children who chronically skip school, according to a New York Times News Service report. These actions are the latest in an attempt by the public schools to hold students to higher educational standards and to hold their parents to higher standards of accountability. Around the country, schools that have tried less severe methods to get students to class are losing patience with chronic truants and threatening to punish their parents. Most states have truancy laws, but many are beginning aggressively to enforce laws that allow judges to punish truants’ parents. A few are passing laws to toughen parental penalties. The American Civil Liberties Union is troubled by the notion of holding parents responsible for the actions of their children and questions whether such policies will help.

Tracking the truants

Electronic fingerprinting has replaced the traditional daily register in six private schools in Japan. The Tokyo-based Toshin Eisei Yobiko group of schools has introduced the system to track students and prevent them skipping school and sending friends to take their place. Outraged educationalists have condemned the technology as invasive and demeaning, but a school spokesman claims it is more convenient than using magnetic strip ID cards, which can be lost, stolen or passed on to others.

Spelling mistakes

Teachers across Britain have had to take down thousands of government posters promoting literacy because they contained spelling mistakes. The department of education issued 48,000 posters after officials failed to spot two gaffes — “vocabluary” instead of vocabulary and “though” instead of through. Officials blamed the mistakes on proof-readers, but admitted these were “unforgivable”. Taxpayers may now have to pick up the 7,000-pound bill for reprinting the posters which carried the motto “raising standards” and were meant to highlight the government strategy for improving literacy in schools. — KSB
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