Sunday, May 22, 2022
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education

Satchels, Half-Empty

The curricula's another story. Rote learning that kills the ability to question fosters an elitist model estranged from local reality.

Satchels, Half-Empty
Gireesh G.V.
Satchels, Half-Empty
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The Bhaskars typify the vast majority of middle-class Indian parents with a clear cost-benefit equation worked out for their children's schooling. The concept of "education" defined with reference to wisdom, values and overall development of character has begun sounding archaic and finds few takers, with the entire thrust of our schooling system shifting from education to "selection". And in this shift, the curriculum, which forms the bedrock of a sound education system, has been reduced to a mere means to secure a "good job".

Little wonder then that when a stormy ideological debate over the new CBSE curriculum made it to the front pages of papers, most schools and an overwhelming majority of students and their parents seemed little concerned. Experts trace this "degeneration of curriculum" to its framework. Explains Francis Fanthome, chief executive and secretary of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), which conducts the ICSE in over 1,000 schools countrywide: "The system of selection has made education irrelevant. The government boards' curricula focus mostly on narrow cognitive capabilities. Rote learning is encouraged and students aren't taught to think, question or analyse." Learning then becomes a passive accumulation of 'facts'.

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