The New Curriculum 2005 and the Old of 2000 have created some earthquakes of sorts in the Indian education sector. In India constitutes a class of people who have been molded in the Macualay education model and also given the way Indian middle class had grown in the pre and post-Independent India there is no denying the fact, the historical fact that we Indians are happy to exist under the protection of the government for our livelihood.
So, from the Oxbridge to the native babus, our decision making class is one of bureaucrats and also the academics. So, what we want to say here is whether the New Curriculum is new in any of the significant changes we notice in the society, in the outside world. Outside the world of bureaucrats and the academic narrow environment. In our opinion, the New Curriculum from what we have known is deficient in some critical areas. Here we like to list them.
The new curriculum with all its flourishes of phrasing in some bookish way, doesn’t look at the outside world. The society in which our children are all growing up is one of a social and economic revolution. The new middle classes are better educated, the children’s home environment is exposed to TV, Internet, video games, Harry Potter that kind of ,yes, some superficial affluence and some superficial education values. So, computer learning is now a new exposure in the very early stages of the children. Yes, we are talking of the urban environment. So, what the new curriculum says about the IT-driven education processes? So, what the new curriculum says about learning the languages in a multi-lingual cultural and social context. Just now we have read a new volume “Literary Cultures in History” (OUP), pages 1066, edited by Sheldon Pollock (Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago). What the book conveys is that India is home for some of the world’s classical languages.
Sanskrit was ritual and literary language and forms the basis for the rest of the other Indian languages. Persian became the official language of the Mughals, though Akbar’s ‘mother tongue’ was Turkish. English became the official language though Indians’ mother tongues were different. Sanskrit lost out when Indian empires (Vijayanagar) disintegrated and also when the new emperors, including Muslim emperors promoted their regional languages like Telugu in Golconda. So on and on. Today teaching the mother tongue and also the medium of education in English or other mother tongues is a raging controversy. Does the new curriculum give any help? So too the teachers. How the new curriculum resolve the disputes the number of languages to be taught or the languages education courses?
So, too the teaching “local” and “national” and international knowledge. What is knowledge and how one acquires it? We find the average Indian teacher is averse to learning! They resist reading for pleasure! They don’t read quality newspapers and magazines! They seem not interested in books! The school libraries are poorly run. No new books are purchased every year. So, with the resistance from teachers what we find. In all urban neighborhoods every other household is a tuition imparting machines! A new directorate for monitoring teaching subjects other than the curriculum-prescribed ones. How to teach outdoor games, teaching music and dance and arts, education tours, create confidence in public speaking. In some, education inside the class rooms is not as much important as education outside the class rooms!