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Systemic Reforms

Systemic Reforms

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Tell more about systemic reforms for curriculum change
Tell more about systemic reforms for curriculum change

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Vijay kumar Gupta .C on Dec 28, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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1.It is in the context of 86th amendment to the Constitution of India and the explosive parentaldemand for education that we need to take a hard look at our continued failure to universaliseschool education at least up to Class X, to improve the quality of our schools and to transformthe Indian educational system so that it is able to realise the vision of society enshrined in theConstitution of India.2.The school must proactively work against structures of exclusion and replace it by structuresfor inclusion and ensure full participation of children in school. Schools must enable every child to access schooling; and facilitate those who drop out or are pushed out to get back (older children). They must assure children of their continuance in school without any disruption at least until they reach Class X. It must treat children as subjects with rights andStates as duty-bearers with obligations to fulfil these rights. It must demonstrate, promote,and help to monitor the rights and well-being of all children in the community.3.Further there must be a clear message that poor children and especially the first generationlearners just do not have the support systems for learning at home. No child must be allowedto be pushed out of school for being a slow learner or for non-comprehension. The entireeducation system, its staff and line and the school teachers must realise that their governancesystem must change in an appropriate manner to be sensitive to such children.4.It is the teacher who experiences first hand the journey of children to become ‘children’, and wade through all the social, cultural and linguistic barriers. The non-seriousness in transforming even a “single” non-school going child to a student dilutes the principle of universality anddisempowers the teacher. Children’s right to education and school participation bestows theteacher with the energy to keep the child in school and not get pushed out. Indeed there issuch an intertwining of children’s right to education and teacher empowerment. Trusting theteacher must be a non-negotiable.5.The participation of the community in the classroom and the school at the primary schoollevel requires that a part of the curriculum be formulated at the level of the school or at thelevel of a group of schools in the area of operation. In this process functionaries of CRC,BRC and DIETs need to be involved and indeed they must spend sufficient time in theschools as well with primary school children and over a sustained duration work with theteachers to evolve materials and ideas.6.Systemic changes must be made to strengthen processes for democratisation of all existing educational institutions at all levels and mechanisms for gauging such processes must be inplace. Democratisation of schools, departments and educational institutions occur only through
a conscious strategy of decentralisation. The local governance systems would require enormoussupport from the staff and line at all layers of the bureaucracy. The systemic issues in thisregard are in laying out the contours of a multi-layered political and departmental system which functions at local, provincial and national levels and in understanding the indispensablerole each of such layers have in supporting children’s right to education. In other wordsdecentralisation must not be construed as burdening the lower levels of hierarchy withresponsibilities disproportionate to their decision-making functions. It is in granting flexibility and autonomy and the same time-taking on all the functions to formulate policies, allocatefunds, issue administrative guide lines, provide academic support and a legal and normativeframework which enable an autonomous decision making process at the lowest level. Ultimately,the system should be able to enhance school participation, accommodate cultural diversity,and initiate micro planning and social accountability.7.There is a need to strengthen the community through better participation by the GramPanchayat and empowering the teacher to perform his/her duties effectively. Yet, the call fordecentralisation and local community participation is not a fundamentalist position. It issuggested because of the call for micro planning, accommodating the need for a child-wisestrategy, resolving of local conflicts and solving problems at a local level. These decisionscannot be taken up at a level that is removed from the ground, and without the participationof the community as well as the local bodies. It is only in this context that respect forplurality and cultural diversities becomes inevitable, informing the curricular changes inconsonance with the local contexts.8.There should be clarity of roles and the entire structure should function based on the principleof subsidiarity. This will curtail duplication of responsibilities, wastage of time and resourcesand curb confusion. There should be structures for support to the ‘local’ and not justmonitoring and fixing up targets. Most of all, the system calls for professionalisation and anintense participation of officials at all levels of the hierarchy.9.The entire system should be process-driven apart from being target-driven. It calls forlong-term intergenerational planning and not spurts of small projects for small periods of time. The system, in addition, should have a style of functioning that is receptive to theground and provide for expertise and technical support in a systematic fashion in response tothe demands made by teachers, professionals and educationists. In its annual review/reporteach layer such as the CRC, BRC, DIET, SCERT, NCERT and all the Departments of Education, Boards of Examination must give a record of number of policy modificationsand initiatives that they have made in response to the demands made by the schools, teachersand community. Supply-driven teacher training programmes must be avoided at all costs and

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