Process of Curriculum Development in Pakistan: Problems and Issues
The process of curriculum development is facing serious issues in Pakistan. These issues are interference of bureaucrats, the absence of involvement of school teachers etc.
Experts sitting in curriculum development boards do not use academic resources properly for revising outdated sections of school textbooks. EAST offers innovative solutions for meeting the needs of curriculum development in Pakistan.
While thinking about education, the most important idea that comes to mind is curriculum. Curriculum is a channel that school administration needs for giving educational and life skills to students.
However, unluckily, in Pakistani context, this idea is highly misunderstood due to which students do not get enriched educational experience in schools.
Curriculum does not change in Pakistan
Ghulam Haider in his article, “Process of Curriculum Development in Pakistan,” says that curriculum is not a static process, but it is a dynamic exercise that must undergo changes according to society’s new demands.
In Pakistan, curriculum development is a static process. There are many reasons for the failure in developing proper curriculum. Some of them are discussed below.
Issues in curriculum development
- Curriculum is outdated
Firstly, the curriculum is outdated, which does not meet the local needs of Pakistani society. Raja Omer Shabbir in his article, “The curriculum problems,” notes that our present generation is learning the same knowledge that previous two generations have learnt.
As students from different parts of the world get difficult mathematical and scientific knowledge by activity-based learning, our students are forced to know scientific concepts through cramming.
For example, in school textbooks of Mathematics at primary level, the concepts of shapes in geometry lessons are not written correctly. One example is of sphere and circle. Most of the teachers do not know that a sphere is a solid shape and a circle is a flat shape. Many teachers teach students that the shape of sun is a circle and not a sphere.
It is sad situation that experts designing school textbooks of mathematics at primary level do not pay attention to include the concept of solid and flat shapes together.
- Involvement of government officials
Secondly, both Haider and Shabbir note that involvement of government officers in the development of Pakistani curriculum is proving harmful to our education system.
Haider suggests that the current process of curriculum development is based on a uniform policy for the whole country that has its particular aims and goals, but he thinks that it is not possible to apply national educational policy to different regions of the country with equality.
For example, there are many underdeveloped areas of Pakistan, where parents do not have adequate resources to send their children to schools. The drop-out rate from schools is high, because parents cannot afford the expense of education easily.
Hence, a new educational policy has to be made by government officers for poor students, so that their problems of education can be solved.
One way of doing this is to build schools, where students are allowed to study in evening time, and where books having basic knowledge about core subjects such as English, Mathematics, Science, Urdu and Islam are taught by trained teachers.
- Lack of academic research
Thirdly, the problem that the process of curriculum development faces in Pakistan is improper academic research for writing school textbooks. Haider points out those experts sitting in the curriculum development boards use materials of their own choice for instruction in schools.
He says that most of the times the chosen content is not up to the mark. While going through textbooks approved by several board systems in the country, it becomes clear that no suitable research/evaluation system is created to revise curriculum.
For example, in computer books of Class 9th, students still learn serial and parallel ports. However, it is noted that all electronic devices created in present day are connected with computers by USB port.
- Absence of school teachers’ involvement
Fourthly, it is seen that the academic experience of teachers from different schools is also not considered in designing and revising school curriculum. Daniel Tanner and Laurel N. Tanner in their book, “Curriculum Development: Theory into Practice,” suggest that without intelligent participation of school teachers, meaningful curriculum development will not be achieved.
Tanner and Tanner say that teachers, who are involved in bringing out educational change, accept and adopt the new ideas more quickly than those teachers who are not involved in carrying out change.
Useful evidence suggests that in countries where well-educated teachers were not involved in the curriculum development process, they did not accept new changes in school textbooks.
Result of weak academic skills of researchers
With lack of academic skills in researchers responsible for designing curriculum for schools, the most important feature of curriculum, i.e. content suffers a lot. Students follow rote-learning process, because the content of their books does not match to their educational skills.
In order to make students problem-solvers, Shabbir argues that our books must contain questions that relate to problems we face in our daily life. By answering those questions, students will learn to solve issues in difficult situations.
For example, while studying the concept of speed in science, students must be given questions related to real-life examples of speed such as speed of a car etc., so that they know the application of the concept.
EAST’s contribution to solving curriculum problems
EAST has developed a curriculum that provides activity-based learning to students and gives problem-solving skills to them.
For instance, our sciences books contain explore and project activities, where students are given a flavor of using scientific knowledge in their routine life. Science book of Class 1 has a project termed as life cycle process, where students understand the growth cycle of a hen.
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