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[Lifelong learning now in class 11]

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Rabindra Dhungel, 26 August 2020. From this year, class 11 students have to study social studies and lifelong learning subjects. The curriculum development center has stated that the subject has been included in the new curriculum to acquaint the children with the society and teach them the art of living.

While lifelong learning is a new subject, social studies is still taught up to class 10.
Director General of the Center, Keshav Prasad Dahal, informed that the subject would be compulsory in classes 11 and 12. “It’s about connecting life to what we teach children,” he said. The center aims to teach life skills to children up to class 8 by including them in human values. “We are preparing the infrastructure for lifelong learning in class 9-10,” said Director General Dahal.

He said that it was necessary to implement life skills as a compulsory subject as the students were given only theoretical knowledge. “We taught them not to smoke, but the students started smoking,” he added. “Now we study the effects of smoking by giving project work to the students. The government had recommended what was needed.

The curriculum of school education class 1-12 has been approved. In this academic session, classes 1 and 11 will be taught on the basis of new curriculum. In the draft of the curriculum, compulsory life skills were included in class 11 and social studies in class 12 as compulsory subjects. In both the classes the subject will be of one hundred integers. In class 11 and 12, Nepali, English and social and vital subjects are compulsory and 3 other subjects are optional and 6 subjects are taught.

Educationists have suggested that lifelong learning should be made a separate curriculum and should be linked to each subject. The center has stated that lifelong learning is being taught in an integrated manner with social studies as per the suggestions of experts. The center claims to teach life skills by combining it with other subjects even though it is not the subject in class 9-10. Experts also say that it is necessary to teach life skills with each subject rather than a separate subject. “Students studying mathematics can learn the skills they need in daily life from there. So far we have not been able to teach them that way,” said Vinay Kusiyat, an educationist.

The center has approved the syllabus of the subject and started printing textbooks. According to the center, textbooks on elective subjects including social studies and life skills are prepared by the private sector. According to the curriculum prescribed by the center, private publishing houses will prepare books from subject matter experts and distribute them to teachers and students. For that, the approval of the center has to be taken. There is a provision for the center to study and give approval for reading after the book is prepared from private publication.

There will be 160 hours of annual study on social studies and life skills education. Arrangement has been made for 5 hours of weekly lessons in the course. After the study of the subject, the aim is for the student to use the tools of research and information and communication technology as a life skills in his personal and social life. The curriculum emphasizes the use of the Internet to raise awareness about information, data, search for study materials, and responsible use.

After studying this subject in class 11, students will learn the skills that can be used at home, office, hospital and transportation services using digital applications, and will learn about responsible use of internet and social media, cyber law and crime. Prof. Dr. Lekhnath Sharma, Vice-Chancellor of the Open University and an expert involved in curriculum development, said that the aim is to produce skilled manpower as the students who have crossed the school level so far are more theoretical. “The aim of the curriculum is to teach students the skills they need to learn at the school level and to enable them to do daily activities after completing this level,” he said.

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