“Involve child development specialist while framing curriculum for primary classes”
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We asked India’s leading educators and academicians about the reforms in the education sector that they would recommend to the Modi government over the next 5 years. This is what had to say.
Mrs. Kausalya Srinivasan, Principal
Akshara Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Madurai
- The government must lay down an age norm for entry into school, the suggested age being six. This should be followed by all the boards across India. The scholastic year begins in June and it would be desirable to make January the “cut-off” month, so that children are a comfortable “six plus” in June. Tamil Nadu extends the cut-off till July 31st. Our experience has shown that children born as late as July, who are admitted into class I along with those who are born in August of the previous year, are at a great disadvantage when they have to meet and match the development levels of their class mates who have a 9 to 10 month advantage over them.
- A common and unified syllabus with variations related to the regions (such as in Social Studies) is surely a much desired thing. The NCF should be implemented by all the states. The primary school curriculum must take into consideration the developmental needs and readiness of the children in these crucial years. Child development specialists need to be heard when framing the curriculum for the primary years. Benchmarks should be set so as to ensure that children acquire certain basic academic skills to help them forge ahead in their studies.
- Government regulations should relate more to academic matters such as curriculum development, assessments and training of teachers to promote and execute pedagogically sound learning programmes at school. Regulation of school fees is not a solution to ensure higher enrolment in elementary schools. When private schools step out into the world of technology-driven education, they spend a lot of money. When the government regulates fees, technology takes a back seat, leading to a lag in development. It would be better if the government specified the percentage of corporate responsibility for schools. This would take the country forward.
- Inclusion of developmentally handicapped or challenged students is an idea that is thrown randomly into the air with no definite plan to track them to a finish point from where they become employable. More training programmes, graduate programmes in education with an accent on special education and government-backed jobs for special educators, even in private schools would go a long way to achieve the goal of a universal primary education in India!
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Originally published at blog.ei-india.com on April 10, 2015.