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Curriculum Frameworks

The curriculum frameworks at Bodh represent the institutional approach and pedagogy. The frameworks reflect the focus on holistic development. They also seek to balance flexible and context appropriate approaches with certain key, accepted parameters/targets of education. This balance is critical as deprived children need to overcome educational backlogs as well as stand on equal footing with their counterparts elsewhere.

The frameworks have been devised based on guidelines and key references such as the National Curriculum Framework (2005), National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) and the Rajasthan State Board prescribed syllabi. Efforts of other civil society agencies including NGOs, academic institutions etc., are also referred to.

Significantly, classroom planning (a daily affair for the teachers) provides space for incorporating and addressing immediate experiences and needs. This also facilitates greater flexibility and innovation. Promising practices are identified and assessed through discussions at various forums (teachers’ meetings, workshops). Suitable practices/aspects are then replicated at a larger component level across multiple schools.

 
Pre School (3- 5 years, Shala Poorv)
The emphasis is on the key areas of child development - cognitive, language, physical, socio emotional, creative and aesthetic. The activities at the pre school centre are largely based on games. Arts (drawing, music and dance) constitute another key aspect. The rich cultural heritage is integrated with the continuation of the same language, songs and activities that the child experiences at home. In fact, the pre school centres are run by mother teachers – women from the community who are provided the necessary training. They further facilitate the transition of the child from home to the school environment. These centres are run at the bodhshalas for three hours (Monday-Saturday).
 
Elementary (6 – 13 years)
At Bodh, the elementary section is further divided into Shala Arambh (Classes I-II or Early Primary), Shala Madhya (Classes III- V) and Shala Samooh (Classes VI-VIII). The overall emphasis is on facilitating children into becoming independent learners. At the Shala Arambh level, the focus is on building early language, literacy and numeracy skills. The aim, as the children move to Shala Madhya level, is to equip them to perform at comparable levels when they reach class V.

Hindi is often the second language for most children. The English language is even further removed from their contexts. Children are encouraged to play with the alphabets, understand and coin words that they are familiar with. The teaching practices follow the continuum of developing the related listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.

The emphasis on building on children’s existing knowledge and experience and conceptual clarity is equally relevant for other subjects such as Mathematics, Environmental Studies etc. There is a gradual movement from concrete to abstract. Mathematics, in particular, is seen as a subject that can help facilitate logical thinking. There is a comprehensive arts component as well (see details below). The interlinkages between all the subjects are stressed.

Subject teaching is increasingly aligned with prescribed syllabi at the Shala Samooh level. Here, children are helped in preparing for the Class VIII examinations (Rajasthan State Board)
 
Secondary and Senior Secondary (13-18 years)
he section covers the critical class range of IX-XII. This section constitutes a comparably new domain of work for Bodh and the required framework is being evolved. The overall focus is on enhancing the disciplinary understanding in subjects through appropriate teaching learning processes.
 
Vocational Education
The component aims at providing students new avenues of growth and exposure and also enhancing related skills. The content is structured in the form of a foundation course. Currently, it encompasses tailoring, computer education, electronics and carpentry. Designed for class VIII and above, these are currently being offered in urban bodhshalas and the Manas Ganga Senior Secondary Girls Residential School. Computer education is an exception – this is initiated in class VI. There are plans to gradually integrate the overall component across all schools in the rural and urban programmes.

Contextual understanding and skills are also being enhanced by the inclusion of animal husbandry and agriculture as part of the vocational education component. These aspects are of particular relevance and use for students from the rural context.

There are plans to increase the range and reach of vocational education options. These include short courses for teaching (particularly at pre school level), nursing, accounting etc.
 
Arts and Craft

At Bodh, arts and craft are seen as an integral part of the curriculum. The objective is to encourage creativity and self expression and also, enhance aesthetic sense. The component includes drawing and painting, collage making, clay modeling, music (vocal and instrumental), and dance. Overall, the focus is on enhancing children’s understanding of the rich and varied artistic heritage in the country and elsewhere. Thus, the curriculum seeks to balance classical and folk forms, understanding nuances/technicalities as well as creating space for individual expression. Significantly, grades/marks are not given. Teachers maintain descriptive notes on each child and this is used as the basis for further planning and work.

At the pre school level, dance, music and dramatics are taken as an integrated whole. Children are encouraged to join in singing and dancing on bal geet (children songs). Activities linked to drawing, painting and clay modeling and collage making are part of the daily routine. A similar trend is followed in class I and II, with further additions such as copying shapes, origami etc. The exposure to varied forms and mediums is increased with each successive class.

In rural bodhshalas, teachers are provided the necessary training and they undertake the component related activities. In urban bodhshalas and Manas Ganga Senior Secondary Girls Residential School, more focused work has been done with professionally trained, subject teachers. The classical elements have been incorporated in these schools.

Specific curriculum has been prepared for classes III-IX for drawing and painting, clay modeling and collage making, music (vocal) and dance (kathak). In music, the curriculum covers classical, semi classical, jan geet (community songs), bal geet (children songs), other forms of folk music and Rabindra sangeet. In the other arts and craft sub components, children are encouraged to develop an understanding of the basics and the medium involved and to utilise materials creatively. Considerable work has been done on dramatics as well. Practice and presentation of specified aspects/technicalities are facilitated for all the art and craft sub components.

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