I have written about the pre-historic and aimless NCERT syllabus. CBSE doesn’t even get into what the children should study. As a solution, I propose parent involvement in curriculum development. Curriculum development is considered a domain of the educationists in India. However, it is time for the parents to be involved for the sake of better learning of children.
Parent Involvement In Child Learning
The children’s learning has to be fun and engaging, hands-on and practical. It has to be simple and uncomplicated for the child to grasp. What’s so much expertise required that a parent cannot be involved in? The education cannot be convoluted that the people who have gone through the process cannot become a part of it.
Education is supposed to be inclusive and equitable. If this is the laudable aim of the curriculum, why should the process of curriculum development remain exclusive and restricted? If the goal is comprehensive learning, why have the scope be defined by a few individuals? Surely, egalitarian learning can only be further enriched with equal, open and free participation of parents.
The parents have the highest stakes in children’s learning. They know their children the best – how and what triggers their children to act, react and also, learn. The parents are the real-life practitioners. They have a better understanding of where the future is headed, what’s going to be in demand and what’s going to get extinct. And hence a view on what should their children study.
The parents are not equipped to design the pedagogical tools. However, they are well-suited to be involved in setting the objectives of the curriculum. The process of arriving at the broad contours of the curriculum can surely be collaborative. Once the framework is confirmed, the educationists can come up with a daily timetable to achieve the mutually agreed child’s learning.
Curriculum Development As A Reflection Of Society
Today, apart from the textbooks belonging to an era of no WhatsApp, no Instagram, no Amazon in India; does not mirror the context of our society and nation. The kids do not get to study about the future that they are going to inherit. The children do not get to learn about the mistakes in judgement their fore-fathers made, the consequences of which they endure.
Why would the ills plaguing the Indian republic at the time of independence – inequity, gender discrimination, casteism continue to date? Why would the Indian fabric remain divided unless united by cricket fervour? What do our children know about the biggest existential threat – climate change? For that matter, what do we, adults, know ourselves?
What could have led to this uncharitable output? Surely, the well-meaning education establishment never intended it. But, it is what it is. The educationists cannot shrug off their shortcomings in contributing to a nation’s fragile character. What they have done till now, working in a silo, protecting their turf, running a coterie, has not yielded the results. It has got to change.
The change is the parent involvement in curriculum development. It may not be an optimal solution, but it cannot get worse than what our children are being offered today in the name of education.
Education is better left to experts and parents have better things to do in life are tried and tested lame excuses of yesteryear’s era. Better to lay them to rest. They have no role in shaping today’s learning environment for children. Also, we should not let ourselves be fooled by the lure of digital apps. They only recycle the trash and have nothing novel to show for themselves.
The only argument against parent involvement in curriculum development can be – it will lead to chaos. There will be anarchy with so many voices wanting to be heard. Well, if, we adults can’t handle ourselves and make sense, we aren’t fit to reproduce, leave alone ensure the healthy learning of our children.
An adult’s inadequacy to debate and mutually conclude is not the excuse for letting down a child.
The Way Forward
It will be too much to expect from staid and indifferent Government departments like NCERT and CBSE to take the lead for this. Private publishers/schools are supposed to be clued into the requirements of the current generation to equip them for tomorrow’s world. What better way to show their intent than to get parent involvement for curriculum development.
Not just parents, everyone should have a say – artists, scientists, workers, philosophers – one and all. Contributing to nation-building is a noble task and what better than being involved in a child’s learning. Actually, the best suited are the students who have just completed their schooling. They would know, how well they were prepared and what they have missed out on for the real-world interface.
Anyway, let’s take one step at a time. The first step is Parent Involvement In Curriculum Development to revamp Indian education.
What are your thoughts on the subject?
PS: I am a stay-at-home father to six-year-old twin daughters, neither an educationist nor an expert, just growing up together with my children. The above thoughts are an expression of parenting is having an opinion, getting involved and trying to better.