ICT to be compulsory subject in class-VI

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=209394

ICT to be compulsory subject in class-VI
Major modification in textbook curriculum underway
Wasim Bin Habib

The government is going to introduce a compulsory 50-mark subject on information and communication technology (ICT) for the sixth-graders from the next academic session.

It will be launched as part of a major modification of the national curriculum after long 17 years in line with the National Education Policy, 2010 to accommodate the latest proven concepts, methods and practices.

Changes are being brought about in all 75 textbooks of the secondary level and four of the higher secondary level by 2013, sources at education ministry said.

The ICT subject will gradually be included in the seventh and eighth grades from 2013 to enlighten the students about computer and information technology.

In addition, the students of classes VI, VII and VIII will also get modified Bangla textbook from the next year. Their existing Samajik Biggyan (social science) subject will be renamed Bangladesh O Bishwa Parichoy with a new textbook.

Education ministry officials believe the modified curriculum will boost creativity among the learners and will help reduce their tendency of memorising lessons as it will have provisions for participatory approach to achieve specific competencies.

They said human qualities, ethical and democratic values, discipline, patriotism, creativity, critical thinking, history and culture will be given priority in the modified course of study.

Educationists, however, suggested carrying out the modification by the experts and taking the children’s capacity into consideration. They also stressed the importance of training the teachers on the new curriculum.

“The job has to be done very carefully, giving the highest priority to children’s capacity,” eminent educationist Prof Serajul Islam Choudhury told The Daily Star.

He, however, warned the authorities concerned not to take a hasty approach to the task.

The education ministry in March formed three expert committees to prepare and modify the curricula of Bangla, ICT and Bangladesh O Bishwa Parichoy.

On submission of their reports, the national curriculum committee reviewed those and finalised the course of study in consultation with officials concerned.

The ICT subject will give the students a primary idea about computer and its related devices, internet, mobile and their usages, said Dr Suraiya Parvin, convenor of the sub-committee on ICT.

“The subject will introduce the learners to the very foundation of ICT,” she added.

The 50 marks of the ICT subject will be adjusted by reducing marks from the existing 200 marks of two-part Bangla subject.

According to a ministry official, the current Bangla curriculum emphasises only on writing competency. But the modified one has a provision of participatory exercises to help students achieve five competencies — writing, seeing, listening, reading and speaking.

The Bangladesh O Bishwa Parichoy subject discusses country’s history, heritage, culture, geological and political condition, rights of children, women and old persons, economy, regional and international organisations, and building Digital Bangladesh, he mentioned.

“We have tried to modernise our curriculum to keep pace with the 21st century so that our children can compete in the modern world,” said curriculum adviser Dr Siddiqur Rahman.

If any weakness is detected in the revised curriculum, it will be modified further, maintained Siddiqur, also a professor at Dhaka University.

Prof Mostofa Kamal Uddin, chairman of National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB), said manuscripts of the three books on ICT, Bangla and Bangladesh O Bishwa Parichoy have already been completed and the tasks of spell-check and proofreading have been going on.

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said the existing curriculum has lost its relevance as no major modification was made after 1995.

“A massive advancement in the fields of education, science and technology has taken place and our students are still studying the old curriculum,” he pointed out, adding his ministry will continue to make modifications.

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