Usually, a country changes its curriculum every ten years. Our current curriculum was developed in 2012 and as per this account, we are waiting to see another new curriculum to be introduced in 2022 that promises to develop the future generation with the skills of the 21st century. Hence, our new curriculum will be competency-based with the principles of innovation, social harmony and accountability.
Ralph Tylor, an educationalist and curriculum specialist gave an idea of curriculum in 1956. He tried to clarify the idea of curriculum through four questions as follows –(i) what objectives a school will achieve (ii) through which experiences the objectives will be achieved (iii) how these learning experiences can be analysed and synthesised and (iv) how the achieved objectives will be assessed.
In our proposed new curriculum from pre-primary to grade three will have no summative assessment. Hundred per cent assessment will be formative clearly hinting no annual examination will take place in these grades that definitely invites appreciation. However, teachers of these grades must have pure knowledge, expertise, orientation and training to deal with formative assessment from the perspective of child psychology. The basic objective of this stage is to ensure that children grow with inquisitive quality and know how to seek, read and write. They don’t acquire the skills of free reading and so, teachers’ guide should be the principal teaching-learning materials. Children will gain learning competency through games, work, and expertise that really sounds very good as our children have to face a huge burden in the current practice. From grade four to five seventy per cent formative and thirty percent summative assessment will take place that will be sixty–forty per cent from grade six to eight, in SSC fifty–fifty and in higher secondary thirty-seventy percent formative and summative assessment are being planned respectively.
From 2022 new books will be provided to the students of grades one and two, six and seven. The students of class eight will receive the new book from 2023 and the students of class nine will receive new books on new curriculum in 2024 and since then no group division such as arts, commerce and science will exist. They will have to sit for public examination on the contents of class ten only and group choice will be selected in grade eleven. In higher secondary, there will be two public examinations—one in class eleven and another one in twelve but the total scores will be counted on the average results of both eleven and twelve class examinations.
Some educationists opine that students will have to read science, technology, language, mathematics, social science, history, geography and literature equally at the secondary level. They will have the opportunity to gather knowledge in all these subjects that they miss in the current curriculum. The science students don’t show interest in reading history and arts students don’t read real science subjects.
Contact period as per UNESCO means the time learners spend inside and beyond classroom with teachers actively. Instructional time means in the classroom or in the virtual environment where learners use time actively in any learning-related activity. In OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and its allied countries, 52 per cent of total learning time is spent for teaching mother language, mathematics, arts and crafts at the primary level which is 42 per cent at the secondary level.
In our proposed curriculum, enough time has been allocated for teaching mother tongue, mathematics and arts and culture which is 60 per cent of the total school learning time at the pre-primary level and at the primary level it is 56 per cent. In ninth and tenth grades, 45 per cent is kept for teaching English, social science and science. The average learning hour from grade one to five is 799 hours and 919 hours from grade six to eight. The total working days have been counted as 185 days. The educational institutions shall remain closed two days a week preferably Friday and Saturday. The current practice entails 32 days to complete SSC examination that will be done in five working days because of subject arrangement and evaluation technique in the new curriculum. Also it takes 24 days to conduct two terminal examinations that will be completed in ten days in the new curriculum. Observing Martyr’s Day, International Mother Language Day, Father of the Nation’s birthday, Independence Day and Victory Day have been considered as working days as learning hours are included in these events. In 89 OECD and its allied countries, yearly average school days are 185 days. In 23 European countries, the average school days are 181.
The writer works for BRAC Education Program