Education is an important aspect of human development. This makes it crucial that we be aware and alert as to what is being taught in our schools today and conscious of whether it is contributing to the overall growth of our children. Is our present education system in India doing that?
Here are 12 components that I think should be immediately included in school curricula for the development of the full potential of students. Even if some of these are part of the syllabus in a few schools, they need more attention and the scope of the subjects needs to be expanded:
1. Road Safety
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The topic of road safety should be included in the syllabus to teach students about the essential safety practices they need to observe on the road. Along with theoretical classes, students should also receive practical exposure for better results.
2. Logical Reasoning
A major drawback of our education system is the lack of focus on critical and logical reasoning skills. Using the classroom to teach these will help students build analytical and reasoning skills and boost their confidence as well.
3. Comprehensive Sex Education
Students should be given proper education on sex and sexuality so they can build healthy relationships in life. This knowledge will help them learn about and be sensitive towards the nature of multiple sexualities also. Additionally, teaching them about safe-sex practices is crucial for their health.
4. Mental Health
A healthy person is someone who has achieved both physical and mental well being. Proper mental health education develops the cognitive ability and emotional quotient in students. They develop the ability to cope with stress and adapt to various environments.
5. Physical Education
Image Source: By Gayatri2388 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The World Health Organisation confirms that physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of lifestyle diseases. Proper physical training can counter the ill effects of the sedentary lifestyle that most of us adopt. It is quite common in our schools to not have specialised teachers for physical training. This needs to change.
6. Art and Crafts
The benefits of art in improving cognitive abilities and building confidence among students have been well established. This subject also provides a creative outlet for many students.
7. First Aid
Image Source: Biswarup Ganguly [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Proper first aid education can transform every student into a lifesaver. First aid training doesn’t just help in the individual development of each student, it also serves the wider community, health institutions and people who are in need of urgent care.
8. Social Media
These days, every other school student possesses a smartphone and has accounts on various social media platforms. This has both positive and negative impacts. Many incidents have been reported regarding the malicious use of social media. Our education system should disseminate knowledge regarding the responsible use of social media.
9. Soft Skills
Soft skills development from a young age helps students polish their communication skills, creativity, leadership skills, etc., which helps them in both their personal and professional lives.
Image Source: By Rajarshi MITRA (Flickr: Down on the farm…) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Agriculture education should be made compulsory in schools. Students should know that we survive because of agriculture. And also that the food we consume comes because of the hard work of farmers. This will help students respect food and farmers, along with teaching them about the need for environment conservation.
11. Financial Education
Students should know the importance of money and should learn about the adverse effects of being careless with their finances. They should cultivate the habit of saving and should also be taught about how banks work, what are taxes, what is an investment, etc.
12. Legal Education
Image Source: Asian Development Bank/Flickr
Students should learn about child rights and other related policies. This aspect of their education will allow them to question illegal activities and also prompt them to advocate for more child friendly laws.