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Curriculum change in Orissa schools likely

Satyasundar Barik

New textbooks to be introduced in Class I, III, VI, VIII from next academic year

BHUBANESWAR: Teaching in the State schools will no longer remain a one-way affair. The State government is all set to introduce new syllabus and innovative approach of schooling from the next academic session when students will take the lead in classrooms and teachers will play the role of facilitators.

As a first step towards making education interactive, new textbooks would be introduced in Class I, III, VI, and VIII from the next academic session. In the subsequent year students of Class II, IV, VII and IX would get new set of textbooks. In the third year, case of left out classes V and X would be taken up.

“Our main objective is to teach students through discussions on life related experiences. Children should be allowed to construct knowledge for themselves,” said Professor Sevak Tripathy, director of State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT), here on Thursday.

Gone are the days when teachers used to start talking on subjects as soon they were entering classrooms. As per the new plans, teachers will just initiate a topic and then listen to students. If doubts crop up, teachers will be there to clear those.

“The reform will lessen study burdens on students. We want our students understand a subject rather than follow it,” Prof. Tripathy said.

The much talked about reform is not an initiative spearheaded by some progressive-minded educationists.

The SCERT went to five different places of the State and held consultations with teachers, students, parents, administrators, retired teachers, NGO workers and general public at large.

During consultations students themselves opined that they did not like the way they were being taught and they got bored seeing the teacher continuing lecturing for hours. Moreover, higher-class students complained that they were getting more information from other sources than from their textbooks. Another suggestion was to update information base of textbooks.

“Based on the feedbacks, we have prepared the new syllabus. We don’t even want to impose this on students. We will keep the option open to either revert to earlier syllabus or do further modification if students and teachers don’t accept our initiative,” he said.

Simultaneously, teachers would be oriented about newer techniques of imparting teaching. “Teachers’ education is very important. The introduction of textbooks would be followed up with teachers’ training.

It is difficult to expect results immediately. In the long run, we stand to gain,” SCERT director exuded confidence.

Proposed change in textbooks has already got approval of a 23-member core committee headed by Secretary of School and Mass Education.

Total enrolment in primary level (class 1 to VII) is estimated to be over 60 lakhs and there are about 53,614 schools excluding schools in the private sector, and non-formal schools run by village education committees and NGOs in the State .

Similarly there are about 5,684 secondary schools having a students’ strength of more than 12 lakh.

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