Efforts to connect the children to reality and developments within the society
The agony of a father searching for his son who migrated for work and feelings of Dhoni's World Cup winning team finding place in school textbooks may sound absurd to parents. Similarly, pictures of old women being cared for by children or the reflections of neglected sections of the society finding place in the books may force one to think why such lessons are figuring in school textbooks that are supposed to provide knowledge.
Migration of labourers
The revised textbooks of 3, 6 and 7 classes in the State this year throw up some of these interesting aspects. How are these related to students' learning abilities? Teachers explain that this is an effort to connect the children to reality and developments within the society. For example, in including the father's open letter to his son, the authorities have tried to expose them to the massive migration of labourers from villages and understand the emotions in relationships.
Similarly, the World Cup winning team chapter was picked up from a newspaper and told to children how media reports on such an event. The idea is to explain to the children about the importance of media in everyone's life and the need to read newspapers to understand society. The popular sport like cricket was used to connect to them. Perhaps, this is the first attempt in using media as a tool in school books.
“The basic purpose of education is to develop children holistically in terms of physical, social, intellectual and emotional aspects. We kept these things in mind while revising the books and using daily life situations we tried to make them understand life, develop their potential and recognise the rights of others,” says B. Seshu Kumari, Director, State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT).
Inclusiveness is an important component in delivery of education, and efforts were made to sensitise children on these aspects through stories, pictures and caricatures. “Children need to respect the disabled, the elderly and the neglected sections and that sensitisation must start at school. Instead of dealing such issues separately they were incorporated in the form of lessons in the revised books,” says Survarna Vinayak, one of the key members involved in curriculum changes. Recommendations of the National Curriculum Framework and the State Curriculum Framework 2011 were followed in designing the lessons.