Guiding Principle:

We need to plan and pay attention to systemic matters that will enable us to implement many of the good ideas that have already been articulated in the past. Paramount among these are :
• connecting knowledge to life outside the school,
• ensuring that learning is shifted away from rote methods, 
• enriching the curriculum to provide for overall development of children rather than remain textbook centric, 
• making examinations more flexible and integrated into classroom life and, 
• nurturing an over-riding identity informed by caring concerns within the democratic polity of the country. 

In the present context, there are new developments and concerns to which our curriculum must respond. The foremost among these is the importance of including and retaining all children in school through a programme that reaffirms the value of each child and enables all children to experience dignity and the confidence to learn. Curriculum design must reflect the commitment to Universal Elementary Education (UEE), not only in representing cultural diversity, but also by ensuring that children from different social and economic backgrounds with variations in physical, psychological and intellectual characteristics are able to learn and achieve success in school. In this context, disadvantages in education arising from inequalities of gender, caste, language, culture, religion or disabilities need to be addressed directly, not only through policies and schemes but also through the design and selection of learning tasks and pedagogic practices, right from the period of early childhood.

 UEE makes us aware of the need to broaden the scope of the curriculum to include the rich inheritance of different traditions of knowledge, work and crafts. Some of these traditions today face a serious threat from market forces and the commodification of knowledge in the context of the globalisation of the economy. The development of self-esteem and ethics, and the need to cultivate children’s creativity, must receive primacy. In the context of a fast-changing world and a competitive global context, it is imperative that we respect children’s native wisdom and imagination.

Decentralisation and emphasis on the role of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) are to be viewed as major steps towards systemic reforms. PRIs offer an opportunity to make the system less bureaucratic,teachers more accountable, and the schools more autonomous and responsive to the needs of children. These steps should also stimulate questions and entanglements with local physical conditions, life and environment. Children acquire varied skills naturally while growing up in their environment. They also observe life and the world around them. When imported into classrooms, their questions and queries can enrich the curriculum and make it more creative. Such reforms will also facilitate the practice of the widely acknowledged curricular principles of moving from "known to the unknown", from "concrete to abstract", and from "local to global". For this purpose, the concept of critical pedagogy has to be practised in all dimensions of school education, including teacher education. It is here that, for instance, productive work can become an effective pedagogic medium for (a) connecting classroom knowledge to the life experiences of children; (b) allowing children from marginalised sections of society, having knowledge and skills related to work, to gain a definite edge and respect among their peers from privileged sections; and (c) facilitating a growing appreciation of cumulative human experience, knowledge and theories by building rationally upon the contextual experiences. 

Making children sensitive to the environment and the need for its protection is another important curricular concern. The emergence of new technological choices and living styles witnessed during the last century has led to environmental degradation and vast imbalances between the advantaged and the disadvantaged. It has become imperative now more than ever before to nurture and preserve the environment. Education can provide the necessary perspective on how human life can be reconciled with the crisis of the environment so that survival, growth and development remain possible. The National Policy on Education, 1986 emphasised the need to create awareness of environmental concerns by integrating it in the educational process at all stages of education and for all sections of society. 

Living in harmony within oneself and with one’s natural and social environment is a basic human need. Sound development of an individual’s personality can take place only in an ethos marked by peace. A disturbed natural and psycho-social environment often leads to stress in human relations, triggering intolerance and conflict. We live in an age of unprecedented violence— local, national, regional and global. Education often plays a passive, or even insidious role, allowing young minds to be indoctrinated into a culture of intolerance, which denies the fundamental importance of human sentiments and the noble truths discovered by different civilisations. Building a culture of peace is an incontestable goal of education. Education to be meaningful should empower individuals to choose peace as a way of life and enable them to become managers rather than passive spectators of conflict. Peace as an integrative perspective of the school curriculum has the potential of becoming an enterprise for healing and revitalising the nation.

 As a nation we have been able to sustain a robust democratic polity. The vision of democracy articulated by the Secondary Education Commission (1952) is worth recalling: 

Citizenship in a democracy involves many intellectual, social and moral qualities…a democratic citizen should have the understanding and the intellectual integrity to sift truth from falsehood, facts from propaganda and to reject the dangerous appeal of fanaticism and prejudice … should neither reject the old because it is old nor accept the new because it is new, but dispassionately examine both and courageously reject what arrests the forces of justice and progress….. 

For us to foster democracy as a way of life rather than only a system of governance, the values enshrined in the Constitution assume paramount significance. 
• The Constitution of India guarantees equality of status and opportunity to all citizens. Continued exclusion of vast numbers of children from education and the disparities caused through private and public school systems challenge the efforts towards achieving equality. Education should function as an instrument of social transformation and an egalitarian social order. 
• Justice—social, economic and political—to all citizens is integral to strengthening democracy. 
• Liberty of thought and action is a fundamental value embedded in our Constitution. Democracy requires as well as creates a kind of citizen who pursues her own autonomously chosen ends and respects others’ right to do so as well. 
• A citizen needs to internalise the principles of equality, justice and liberty to promote fraternity among all. 
• India is a secular democratic state, which means that all faiths are respected, but at the same time the Indian state has no preference for any particular faith. The felt need, today, is to inculcate among children a respect for all people regardless of their religious beliefs.

 India is a multicultural society made up of numerous regional and local cultures. People’s religious beliefs, ways of life and their understanding of social relationships are quite distinct from one another. All the groups have equal rights to co-exist and flourish, and the education system needs to respond to the cultural pluralism inherent in our society. To strengthen our cultural heritage and national identity, the curriculum should enable the younger generation to reinterpret and re-evaluate the past with reference to new priorities and emerging outlooks of a changing societal context. Understanding human evolution should make it clear that the existence of distinctness in our country is a tribute to the special spirit of our country, which allowed it to flourish. The cultural diversity of this land should continue to be treasured as our special attribute. This should not be considered a result of mere tolerance. Creation of a citizenry conscious of their rights and duties, and commitment to the principles embodied in our Constitution is a prerequisite in this context
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Clear CTET - Coaching Institute for CTET, DSSSB and KVS: Guiding Principle
Guiding Principle
Clear CTET - Coaching Institute for CTET, DSSSB and KVS
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