Educational Changes and Future Needs

Wed, 07/31/2013 - 05:18 -- Umar Farooq

The children of today need to be so educated that they become the responsible citizens of tomorrow. As such, they are our hope for the future. The challenges to be met and the ideals to be realized can be taken care of only by them. Whatever the circumstances, the educational system has some obligation to the nation. The greatest contribution which it can make is through providing a relevant curriculum which is sound forward-looking and consistent with the current and future needs of the nation. Only then we can be assured of a bright future.

In order to survive, a system must look at its curriculum and adjust it to changing needs. The following may serve as guidelines for the development of future curricula, although these are not suggested as hard and fast rules.

The Application of Instructional Media and Technologies. Particularly at the transitional level, the application of instructional systems and technologies can make important contributions to education as ideas, knowledge and know-how can thus be shared with the illiterate and semiliterate in order to improve their education. The power of the media and instructional technology should be used effectively for educative purposes. Even the best curriculum will fail without the proper application of modern methods of teaching. Teachers should include problems solving techniques and other new methods of instruction in their teaching.

Provision for Individual Differences. At present, in most Pakistani schools, due attention is not given to the needs of individual students. It is a fact that every student is unique. Teachers should, therefore expect a wide range of performances from their learners. Special heed should, therefore, be given to the increasing individualization of the curriculum. It is not psychologically or academically sound to expect a uniform standard of performance from every student.

A Mass Movement for School Improvement. The improvement of our educational system must become a mass movement. It must become a holy mission for our teachers and parents. To know the content and the methods of teaching must be assumed as a sacred duty of them.

A Critical and Careful Review of the Prevalent Situation. In order to foresee better, one often has to look aback to know what has already happened, what is transpiring now and what are the possibilities of the future, one must be a keen observer, patient and fore sighted. The requirements of the future have to be visualized and met in the light of past, the changing conditions of today and the emerging trends of the future.

Learning as a Lifelong Activity. Learning is not limited only to the period of child hood and adolescence. It is a lifelong process. In our society, most of our people are illiterate. Adult education programs, therefore, should be launched with careful planning and proper enthusiasm at the national level. Such an education of adults must be given due consideration in future curriculum planning.

National Goals as the Guiding Force for our Education System. Our national system of education appears to have failed to achieve our national goals. Committees of experts can state the goals in clear behavioral terms. We must evaluate our progress to see how far we have been successful in achieving them. The whole of our curriculum should be linked with our national goals.

Cooperation in Planning Curricula. The experiences organized for the learners by the educational institutions should be selected as a result of cooperative planning by parents, teachers and administrators. This will help to create a sense of involvement and responsibility.

Teachers as the most Effective link in Implementing the Curriculum. Teachers must keep in mind the fact that their attitudes, value judgments, likings and disliking at etc. can have a deep impact on children. Therefore, their proper training and placement must be given due emphasis.

The need for Universal free Compulsory Education. According to previous education policies and plans, the target of free universal primary education must have been achieved long before. In view of the present situation the destination is still out of sight. We .must utilize all our resources to achieve universal free compulsory education within the shortest possible time.

Inter Disciplinary Approach to Learning. Inter-disciplinary learning should be stressed and the art of comprehending the complex relationship among various fields of knowledge should be fastened.

A Broader Concept of Curriculum. A broader concept of curriculum should be considered and adopted. "Extra-curricular" and out ­of-school activities should not be considered as extra and additional but as an integral part of education.

A Contemporary Emphasis in the Content. Efforts should be made to make the content meaningful and up-to-date to give it a contemporary touch. Curriculum content should not be allowed to remain rigid and static.

The Encouragement of Further Research. Innovations and new ideas arising from educational research must be encouraged and welcomed in the development of curricula.