Malathie Kalpana Ambrose
It is great to see that after ages policy makers are realizing that the existing curricula has not been producing holistic personalities throughout the past. But realizing that fact itself will not be enough, unless the policy proposals bring about a vital change in to curricula development.
The following proposals were taken from the First Draft –National Policy framework on General Education in Sri Lanka prepared by National Committee for Formulating a New Education Act for General Education, 2008. The proposals are for one of the key policy issues identified by the committee.
Curriculum Development Policy Issue І
Curricula developed for schools fail to provide a sound foundation that enables the youth to lead a successful personal and work life.
To avoid delays in exposing some students to the new thinking, select a number of number of entry points to inject curriculum reforms to the system.
Popularize the competency- based approach to curriculum development to avoid mere acquisition of knowledge that fails to integrate relevant attitudes, skills and important personality traits that contribute to the development of sound practices.
Focus curriculum development on moulding proactive citizens who are equipped with generic skills that are essential to contribute competently to self, national and global development.
Select the lower most grade of 10 of the Senior Secondary Cycle as a starting point to the curriculum development of the SSL. Pay attention to the content selected to the lower grades in determining the curricula for grade 10. Take up the curriculum development process grade by grade to reach the top most grade of 13 in four consecutive years.
To improve the relevance of school curricula to the world of work and real life, de-link the GCE (A/L) from university admission requirements. Reintroduce High School Certificate (HSC) to mark the final examination of general education while identifying a different strategy to select candidates for the universities.
Adopt the spiral approach to curriculum development at least up to grade 11 to facilitate the younger students to master the subject competencies identified for them.
Strengthen vertical and horizontal links with in the school curriculum to minimize compartmentalization of content by subject and to provide a seamless transition from grade to grade and from one level education to the next.