Looking Beyond The Curriculum.
Every time a group of people sit together to talk about the Education System, you will not fail to hear a good number of them blaming the ‘Curriculum’. Some say that it is outdated and that it does not serve the society today. But is that really the truth? Let’s explore this for a minute.
The Curriculum is a document that broadly defines the academic content taught in a school or in a course.
Out of the curriculum two syllabuses are developed:
i) Teaching syllabus.
ii) Examining syllabus which contains the domains of setting exams; these are “cognitive”, “affective” and “psychomotor”.
The Implementation is the Key
Beginning with Primary School curriculum, pupils must be taught how to read and write, how to work with numbers, their bodies, hygiene, living with each other, speaking or expressing themselves, their environment, plants, animals, social infrastructure like schools, hospitals, roads, airports, their nation, as well as physical education, which will depend on facilities school has.
We realize that all these things are very important. You can’t replace them with anything apart from delivering them well or implementing them better.
[blockquote author=”Kayondo Moses”]”No knowledge in the curriculum is useless, so is all creation, there is a purpose for each even those that I may not find useful personally.” [/blockquote]
'No knowledge in the curriculum is useless...even those that I may not find useful personally. #Education @Idea_tolife'
When it comes to Secondary School; children are exposed to subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Literature, Entrepreneurship, English, Social Studies, History, Geography. You will realize that every topic in these subjects is useful to every person who will see value in it.
No knowledge in the curriculum is useless, so is all creation, there is a purpose for each even those that I may not find useful personally.
Personal Application is the Crux of the Matter
Andrew Mwenda is Ugandan: studied here at least in Primary and Secondary, even went to Makerere University. I like the way he uses his knowledge in History that he learned in school and is also vastly self-taught. As others can’t apply it, he applies it. A person’s inability to apply the knowledge does not render that knowledge useless for everybody.[blockquote author=”Kayondo Moses”]”A person’s inability to apply the knowledge does not render that knowledge useless for everybody.” [/blockquote]
“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of the vessel.”–Socrates.
The Case for Personal Initiative
The love of learning and love for knowledge are what should kindle it. The curriculum has this knowledge; the knowledge is good starting point for any individual who wants to be anything. It avails what is needed to acquire a skill like Read and write.
The implementer of the curriculum (school system and teachers) with the necessary resources within their reach have a lot to do to cultivate the skill intended. Love for learning and love for knowledge has nothing much to do with the curriculum as well. I have seen babies who have this love even before they start going to class and I have seen adults who are totally indifferent to learning and knowledge, even when they have a natural gift they prefer to operate without knowledge.
[blockquote author=”Kayondo Moses”]“Love for learning and love for knowledge has nothing much to do with the curriculum as well” [/blockquote]
The Soil (Student) is as Important as the Seed (Curriculum)
If you plant good seed in bad soil it will affect how its roots grow. We also learn this great lesson from the parable of the sower. (Bible). The recipient must have positive volition to the knowledge given. The Bible is so perfect but not every reader of it is fully grown up in the Doctrine/knowledge of God.
By the time someone completes Primary Seven, that is in a fairy facilitated school with a good teacher, he or she is able to read and write. Advancement to O-Level makes them better persons knowledge-wise hence increased vocabulary. If the skill is put to better use by the individual the sky is the limit. He can read any book of interest, practice and achieve mastery(Ripple skills effect); unfortunately many don’t practice, rarely do young people of today grab a book to read outside those few in the curriculum that are intended to act as introduction to whatever you want to be.
[blockquote author=”Kayondo Moses”]“If the skill is put to better use by the individual the sky is the limit”. [/blockquote]
If You can Read, Probably that is all You need
Lemony Snicket said:
“All the secrets of the world are contained in books.”
The books cannot be put in one curriculum for all people who have diverse interests. Any curriculum will give you a start and some momentum and you have to keep going: don’t stop where it stops. I find it weird when a Bachelor Degree holder can’t reason even in what he has studied. Skills like critical thinking and creativity can be caught in exposing your brain to reading extensively.
The Curriculum never says it has it ALL and one man implementing it can never say all in 20 partitioned Hrs. Individual has to search out more and more to be better [person with better skills or a better creative, innovative mind. Unfortunately students today want to be filled with everything in one sitting in a lecture.
[blockquote author=”Kayondo Moses”]”I find it weird when a Bachelor Degree holder can’t reason even in what he has studied. Skills like critical thinking and creativity can be caught in exposing your brain to reading extensively” [/blockquote]
Research is no longer a student’s thing to do, Libraries have no place any more, few know little information about the ones at the American embassy and British council. Schools have no libraries.
Walt Disney said:
‘There is more treasure in books than in All the pirates Loot on Treasure Island.”
Any person who knows how to read and write and he is still making excuses, he simply needs laying of hands (prayers). If curriculum has given you the basics (fishing) please stop asking for daily meal. Our curriculum is so rich but most people have no priorities right. Soccer, Tv, gossip consume the time that would have been used for self-improvement, reading a book etc. [blockquote author=”Koyondo Moses”]”Any person who knows how to read and write and he is still making excuses, he simply needs laying of hands (prayers)” [/blockquote]
Parents have also ignored their role. Children need a parental figure to guide, build confidence, help discover talent and help them by connecting them to a place that has what they need, not just take them to Kings College Budo because that’s where you went.
George Satayana said:
“A child educated only at school is an uneducated child”
- Ben Carson was so much inspired by his mother who is formally uneducated. You can get his story from his books ‘Gifted Hands’ and‘Think Big.’
- Roosevelt was American president who was inspired by his father. Part of his story is in ‘21 Laws of Irrefutable leadership’ by John Maxwell.
- JP Morgan Jr was also taught too much by his father. You can find his story in a mini series: “The Men Who Built America”
- Sudhir Ruparelia the Ugandan Business magnate has Inspired and trained his son Rajiv.
Parents have a big role other than looking at just the curriculum to give you that desired package.
Implementation and Facilitation and Culture
Implementation of the curriculum is key. Without other elements put in order however good it is, no good fruits will be realized.
Facilitation is so poor to the majority of our schools, no laboratories, text books, computers, little or no teaching aids, food for teachers and students, lack of qualified zealous teachers. Reading culture in our society today is so poor mostly because of the attitude towards reading. I see this too in church regarding the Word of God. We need to cultivate a reading culture, love for knowledge. This mostly a matter of attitude, some people are comfortable in not knowing.
So let’s stop blaming the Curriculum. Let’s implement it. Let’s facilitate it. And as products of Education, let’s read, let’s research and let’s up our game in our personal initiative to learning. The curriculum is the seed, we are the soil.