Dated Syllabi

Dated Syllabi
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A controversy of sorts has erupted after some private schools are shifting their syllabi to CBSE over the Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education(JKBOSE). While some from the education sector believe that this is a good and prudent move, others posit that it is an attempt to centralize Kashmir’s school. In a way, this is a false debate. The real debate and push should be over developing and aligning the syllabi of Kashmir’s schools with the needs and demands of the times. The focus and gravamen of our syllabi and the imparting of education in Kashmir is slanted towards rote learning and what may be called as the primacy of fact over imagination and knowledge. This approach not only renders our students into “fact factories” without real understanding but also stultifies them. All in all, rote learning, primacy of facts stunts and discourages critical learning – the key to robust learning and education. The why’s, how’s , when’s and where’s of learning and education get lost in the mists of a stultifying process. While our students might be good at “facts”, their creative impulse gets short shrift. Moreover, the age or the time we live in, accords primacy to “thinking on the feet” where what one has learnt might actually have to be unlearnt to succeed and thrive in a hyper- competitive environment. In short, it is a world where degrees and education gets obsolete in a matter of no time. In this world then, what is required is a new educational paradigm that displaces earlier and past ones and crystallizes a synthesis of the “old” and the new. This needs to be aligned with modern , effective and efficient pedagogy that fosters and encourages critical thinking. The reification of the combination of these approaches would naturally and inevitably entail and warrant a revolution in our systems, modes and approaches to education. It may be that neither the JBKOSE nor the CBSE actually fulfills the criteria of the nature of education that our young minds and students need. We may, in reality, need something more novel and path breaking for our students to be on the cusp of the educational frontier. It is, therefore, about time that sober minds and those at the forefront of education turn inward and then outward to understand the lacunae in our educational systems and then chart a territory that redounds to the good and benefit of students upon which the pedestal of society rests.

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