While debates are rife – whether the quality of education in the country is on the wane, another significant setback in the schooling system was raised by educationists last week who had gathered for the Annual Education Conference in Phuentsholing.
Educationists asseverated that the education ministry should refine curriculum and check the contents of textbooks meant for school students, divulging out several flaws between syllabus and school textbooks.
For example, topics or chapters on certain issue, which are there in the syllabus, aren’t there in the textbooks. Similarly, high school students and teachers had to refer four different textbooks in the absence of a single integrated biology textbook.
Further, difference in the standard of language in two consecutive classes was another problem. It was just not teachers, but students confronted problems as well with this sudden shift, thus making learning even more arduous.
The issues, therefore, raise several questions. It even makes us wonder whether our children are learning right. And are they in the present scenario where the type of schooling or textbooks is as old as time itself?
There is just too many a problem going by what educationists voiced out during the congregation. Education, therefore, has to be made timely and socially relevant, and child-centric to serve its purpose, but has our school curriculum even been put through that perspective? Definitely not! High school students still read about rubber cultivation in Malaysia or the cocoa cultivation in Ghana. Therefore, there is a need to re-create syllabus that are not only timely, but also dynamic.
The huge mismatch between syllabus and textbooks is not something new. The same issue has been resurfacing time and again in the media, but nothing is being done to solve this problem. The feign desire to set things right whimpers away, it seems, once the conference concludes.
We envision of becoming a knowledge hub and an IT-enabled society, the works for which are still in progress such as the Education City Project and IT Park. Then there is our unrelenting effort to connect all 205 gewog centers through fiber optics connection. Unquestionably, we are up for technological advancement. We don’t want to be obsolete anymore. But are we heading there? Are we when the young minds of the future are using obsolete IT textbooks and syllabus? They still use textbooks meant for Windows 98 and 2000.
Thus, if our graduates are finding it grueling to find employment today or labeled as incompetent in the job market, these problems are partly to be blamed for as well for this predicament. Only if the roots are strong, a seedling can grow into a tree. The least we can do is resolve these issues and tune in to the present realities.