Prominence of Curriculum: An Outline

Dec 27

“If we teach today as we taught yesterday, then we rob our children of tomorrow”


I’m always struck with wonder and amazement at the sight of students (from primary to PhD level) engaging and making money out of something of their interest outside the four dim walls of their classrooms. Growing popularity of curriculum activities and encouragement by the educational authorities to encourage students to participate gives me goosebumps. Being aloof and only child of my parents, I was rushed to pursue what makes money and successful regardless of my interest which lies outside the viscous boundary of academics. I recall every time how I was asked to study academics only and not shift my focus to anything else. And there were (or even are) many like me. But it was a long time ago when all you could do is to fix your eyes on the books sitting on an old antique study table in a dim lighted room with a ton of books. Now the time is changing rapidly, the old dim lighted room is renovated now with bright and colorful sketched wallpapers and turned into lively room. Why is it? It is because student now a day are rejecting and breaking the old norms and conventions of educational learning in schools and universities and getting recognition for the same.

By this time, I know you would have started thinking that educational stratum earlier, in my opinion, was boring or compromising with personal ambitions, but it’s not what I advocate. Earlier, it was a serious learning; without play when students were only excited about how much they have read or how much knowledge they have gained. It was a standard learning experience. But now innovative learning has been introduced into the schools, colleges, and universities. Such learning in formal education is termed as curriculum. Kerr defines curriculum as, ‘All the learning which is planned and guided by the school, whether it is carried on in groups or individually, inside or outside the school. (quoted in Kelly 1983: 10; see also, Kelly 1999)

The literal meaning of Latin word ‘curriculum’ means race or course of a race which signifies ‘to run’ or ‘to proceed.’ Significantly, curriculum today constitutes any institution’s educational programs which advocate the participation of students and teaching faculty to get a break from monotonous routine of reading and learning the formal texts. It includes all those physical or brainstorm activities directly associated with academics, which bring a teacher and a student into innovative involvement for the advancement of learning of both. It is the locus of a type of learning that not only engages students but faculty, trustees, & administration. Curriculum (co-curricular or extracurricular) covers all the sectors of the institution involved with the process of teaching and learning. Co-curricular activities are one such curriculum that many institutions today began giving credits for. As the name suggests, ‘co-curriculum’ meaning which engages with academia and supports the core syllabus or disciplines in schools or universities.

Co-curricular activities meant to instill artistic, spiritual, and cultural eminence in student and can be performed and supervised by any institution. Sports, Musical activities, Debate, Model, Art, Music, Drama, Debate and discussion, Declamation contest, Story writing competition, Essay writing competition, Art craft, Recitation competition, Writes ups for school magazine, Folk songs, dance, sculpture making, photography, and etcetera. Also, since the name extra-curricular itself introduces to it; ‘extra’ or ‘outside’ the institution. These activities aimed for the physical and mental development which can or cannot be performed in campus of institution, such as archery, badminton, basketball, cricket, bowling, cycling, and etcetera.

“A child only educated at school is an uneducated child”

Tracing back the ancient history, curriculum activities are vital for the physical, mental, spiritual development of an individual which enable them to keep pace his progress with life. People then, used to teach their children skills &knowledge for survival, though fishing, hunting, and archery. There were no formal education as today is, the emphasis was more on ‘how to’ learn than ‘what’ to learn. Such ancient learning and education is termed as Saber-tooth curriculum. In the same way, co-curriculum today especially focuses on teaching the students how to get the knowledge and information and how to serve them according to the societal needs.

 “Intelligence plus character, the goal of true education”

For this purpose, educational systems in various countries are specially grounded on curriculum development. The curriculum development is meant for improvisation of curricula for the welfare of society by the educational authority whose responsibility is to make students agents or pillars of progressive, healthy, harmonious society. This objective is kept in mind by the authorities to bring continuous change in parts of curricula like teaching faculty, resources, interactive learning and assessment. True education is not only about how much knowledge you gained at the present but how can you make use of it in future as well. And what I find satisfying is that schools and universities across the globe are actually acknowledging this fact and propagating the agenda of co-curriculum. The activities involved are more than just for maintaining physical health of students or giving the credits to add their score on the report card.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.