‘Nation’ trumps ‘humanity’ in Asian schools: Survey

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 16, 2018 Published on October 16, 2018

School curricular documents across 22 Asian countries are putting primacy to building awareness around the concepts of national competitiveness, pushing a more important notion of ‘humanity’ to the background, a survey has revealed.

The survey, conducted by Unesco-MGIEP, showed that nation as privileged referent of identity has emerged as the most prevalent concept with the weightage score of 85 (out of 100) in the findings of the report on ‘Rethinking schooling for the 21st century'. On the other hand, humanity as a privileged referent of identity scored just 31.

“Regimentation of children’s mind is the most common phenomenon in Indian classrooms today. It is one of the things that was discovered across Asian countries,” Krishna Kumar, former Director, NCERT, said at the launch event. “We had assumed in our team that these global concerns like environment would be in forefront in the curriculum document but we did not find that. But on the other hand all these countries are promoting heightened awareness of the importance of competitive nationalism so that their country emerges on top,” Kumar said.

On the other hand, critical thinking was the second concept with the score of 82. Culture and heritage at 81 was the third most prevalent concept, according to the report.

Some of the ways in the report suggest that there is a need to promote peace and sustainability and create a platform to bring together expertise in child-centred education and curriculum design in core subjects at primary and secondary levels.

The findings were based on 172 documents in 18 languages in 22 countries.

Published on October 16, 2018
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