M Zia U llah

Falling education standard is one of the most favorite topics for discussion at our social gatherings. Everyone has his own views and experiences to narrate and ultimately, expresses the expressions of grief. It is a known fact that our educational standards are on the decline.

We have progressed in quantitative expansion but gone backward qualitatively, in the government policies there are planning and recommendations for the revolutionary steps but the progress is negligible. 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.

The process of curriculum development is facing serious issues in Pakistan. These issues are interference of bureaucrats, the absence of involvement of school teachers and the lack of academic skills in researchers responsible for designing curriculum for schools. The most important feature of curriculum is content. Students follow route-learning process, because the content of their books does not match to their educational skills.

There are some determinants of curriculum development like social aspects, cultural factors, basic needs, traditional and religious aspects. The process of curriculum development needs to be developed, designed, reviewed, evaluated, monitored and then to be implemented.

 Curriculum problems of Pakistan are lack of sequence, economic interference, disapproval of society, lack of teaching material, economics problems and outdated syllabi. Parents take it as a compliment when somebody mentions their children taking after them, but not when almost three generations have studied the same curriculum with little change other than a poor redesign of the front covers.

Understandably, the curriculum in school and colleges cannot be expected to encompass everything; however, students should at least be given a flavor of what to expect when they take on the avatar of practical life. They should be exposed to the on-going issues of society. The next generation should be brought up on ideals better than ours. Their curriculum should cater to the left and right hooks of the modern world. We need to ensure that their curriculum goes through a process of incremental changes for improvement.

In order to make students problem-solvers, 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.

I firmly believe that in countries like Pakistan and many others, curriculum development is under the jurisdiction of people who lack knowledge about the changing world and its needs.
Change needs to happen and it needs to be constant. Every six months, a new gadget is launched which takes the world by storm. Most developed nations are using e-learning as an effective platform to educate students. A curriculum design that would give students opportunities to think critically and acquire learning that is purely skill based is the need of the hour.

The writer is a student of media studies at Institute of Communication Studies, University of the Punjab, Lahore and can be reached at ziazubair330@gmail.com

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