By : Ph. Nandakumar Sharma,
Board of Secondary Education Manipur
1. Introduction:- The pace of development of Manipur is also speeding fast to tune the speed of the fast changing global economic, political, Social and Cultural changes. Indeed, Manipur cannot slow down or leg behind the pace of the global changes. Moreover, the new Look East Policy of the Government of India has given a new impetus to the development vision of the state of Manipur. The geographical location of the state of Manipur has given the state an ample opportunity to receive the powerful thrust of the South East Asian countries in the field of economic cooperation, technology transfer, tourism, healthcare and cultural relations with this subcontinent called India. Here, if carefully and tactfully handled, Manipur will become a gold mine and if not will reduce to a mere transit point thereby a place of global remnant. Indeed Manipur can become another Singapore of India if we develop a system of education which will provide all the world class infrastructure and facilities for the future generations to come. It is the indispensible task before us to make our younger generations to be an internationally acceptable standard citizen so as to enable them to represent Manipur, India to the world in various fields. We may discuss 7(seven) broad areas to bring up our generations to this world class standard. 1) Firstly, to make our children a perfect citizens who speak their mother tongue with modestly, understanding and courteously showing their pride of ethnic identity of being a Manipuri in their country as well as in the world, 2) Secondly, to make our children enable to speak, communicate, understand English as a foreign language if possible to the level of a native speaker to cope the world before them, 3) Thirdly, to make our children to excel in the profession of their choice to contribute to the nation making and global changes, 4) Fourthly, to make our children know the tradition, culture, thereby reflect the national character in them, 5) Fifthly, to love the nation and can view the human being as one family and spread the message of love to all mankind, 6) Sixthly, to enable to actively participate in the changing global scenario and contribute to the welfare of the globe. And last but not the least 7) to make our children know various aspects of the planet such as the climate change, global warning, environment degradations and role of a Manipuri in saving these phenomena.
2. Elementary Education (Pre School and Primary):- Elementary stage is the most important stage in the whole set up of education. This is the stage in which the decision to make the future generation in the desirable direction in the society is to be taken. The first and foremost thing to be taught to the children in this formative stage is to introduce to his/her surroundings and the new environment in which he/she lives in and slowly lead him/her to the civilized society by enabling him/her to speak gently with modesty and courteously in his/her own mother tongue with respect to parents, teachers and persons around them. The child in this stage should be taught to express step by step in their mother tongue the beauty of the language and hidden treasure of the cultural traditions of the state. When the children’s mind is well equipped with the necessary receptive capacity, new things can be introduced so that the inborn and hidden quality in him/her can be led to a full grown knowledge. In the early stage of elementary education, the activities like singing together in mother tongue, playing together, dining together and visits to historical and cultural sites such as the Kangla, Khongjom etc. Over and above, visits to natural scenic beauties like Loktak Lake, water falls and parks will make the child feel love of the mother country, love of environment and appreciate the beauties of truth and nature. This is the making of the foundation for the future citizens. All the nursery rhymes using now in the pre schools of Manipur should be translated in the mother tongue of the children and be taught in the mother tongue so that the child’s childhood imagination be strengthen. Moreover the traditional lullaby songs in the Manipuri language and the dialects be documented and be taught to the children in the pre school stage.
3. Elementary (Upper Primary) :- The Children who have been brought up in the well planned lower primary stage are to be exposed to a further advanced stage to achieve the 7(seven) objectives indicated in the introduction in this upper primary stage. The curriculum design of the upper primary stage be designed to include these seven objectives. The internationally accepted subject areas for the upper primary stage are:- 1. Mother tongue 2. English Language (with special emphasis on speaking and listening) 3. Mathematics (basics) 4. Science (basics) 5. Social Sciences (basic related with environment and surroundings) 6. Drawing 7. Music 8. Games and sports (simple games and indigenous plays) and 9. Moral Education (based on traditional fables and stories). This will lead a child to a future citizen endowed with truth, wisdom and courage who can meet the challenges and the task of the nation before them. While framing the curriculum and syllabus for the subjects mentioned above, special care should be taken in incorporating the following values such as, 1). Human value, 2) truthfulness, 3) Sense of patriotism, 4. Sense of helping hand, 5. Sense of team work, 6. Respect to superiors and teachers and 7. Dignity of labour. Organizing Annual Sports Meet, Cultural Meets and Debating and co curricular programmes in the schools, block level, District level and State Level be encouraged and the credits obtained in such meets be reflected in the students report cards. The primary objectives of the upper primary stage are to build the character of the student and exposure to the surroundings in which the student lie in. Plenty introductory materials of the history of Manipuri, economy of Manipur be included in the curriculum and syllabus of Social Sciences. In the Science subject, basic information on Computer and I.T. and the modern household electronic gadgets and equipments of daily use be introduced to the students to understand the modern lifestyle. In the history and geography of Manipur and the neighboring countries.
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