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Newspaper 24 Hours – October 28
What Innovations are Envisaged in the New National Curriculum
Amendments made in the National Curriculum will come into force from 2011-2012 academic years. Normative document that was created by more than 150 experts is focused on the result. The result envisages receiving general education in reality. Following priorities are included in the National Curriculum: literacy, media literacy, digital literacy, quantitative thinking, plural lingual competency and social and civil skills. All above mentioned topics will support self realization of the schoolchildren.
New National Curriculum will not be changed for 5 years. In order to protect teachers’ and schoolchildren’s rights, new National Curriculum will be developed in three stages. Particularly, it will be introduced in I-VI forms in 2011-2012. In 2012-2013 years it will be launched for the schoolchildren of the second and the third levels. Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Dimitri Shashkini talks about the innovations, reflected in the new National Curriculum.
Dimitri Shashkini: “New National Curriculum was created because of the modern challenges. More than 150 experts, teachers, well-known scientists and psychologists took part in it. Subject matter groups were established in all subjects that are taught in schools. This is the document adopted according to the agreement, as a result of different discussions. All notes and recommendations are considered in it. This document is focused on the normative result. Even the result of learning physics in the 7th form is reflected in it.
New National Curriculum is designed to give the schoolchildren general education in reality and develop correct approaches and values in the directions of citizenship, patriotism, analyzing and logic thinking. All these directions are included in the subjects. Therefore, teachers have great responsibility, because they should carry out tasks included in this document at the lessons. Professionalism of the teachers will give real result”.
As it is known, exact and natural science teaching will be intensified according to the new Curriculum. What concrete approaches are envisaged concerning these subjects?
Strengthening of exact and natural science teaching and popularization of them is one of the top priorities of MES. Schoolchildren will be taught these subjects from the first form. They will study natural science in I-VI forms. Biology, physics and chemistry are integrated in this subject. Basis of the natural sciences will become more difficult in the 7th form. Schoolchildren will be taught these subjects separately in 8-11th forms. They will be able to pass “Abituri” course in the 12th form in order to get better prepared for the High School exams.
It should be noted that the program “Einstein” will be implemented by the initiative of MES. The schools are already provided with the virtual labs. Teachers already passed trainings as well, but the program “Einstein” envisages refurbishing of the school labs in natural sciences. In the scope of the program, all public schools will be provided with the modern labs in biology, chemistry and physics as studying of these subjects is impossible without experiments.
MES pays particular attention to the development of the specialized “Scientific” physics-mathematical schools. These schools are designed to create relevant education environment to the schoolchildren and ensure the labour market with the intellectual staff complying with the appropriate level of economic development.
National Curriculum envisages teaching of the new subjects as well. . .
Teaching of English language from the first form was launched in 200 pilot schools from September, 2010. It will become compulsory for all public schools from 2011-2012.
IT will be introduced as the separate subject and the schoolchildren will be taught it from the first form. But, this subject will envisage two selective courses in XI-XII forms: one course covers elements of informatics and programming and the second one – developing of the concepts, connected with design and multimedia.
The next year, one more selective subject – world culture will be taught in XI-XII forms. It is being piloted in 14 schools currently. Civil Defense and Safety will be introduced in VI-VIII and XII forms.
Aim of teaching of this subject is to assist youth in developing skills of behavior in the extreme situations. From January 20, dance classes will be integrated to the music lessons in 40 pilot schools.
Broadening the list of the selective subjects is very important. Which subjects are offered to the schoolchildren?
List of the various selective subjects make the schoolchildren oriented on studying. We serve the future generation and do everything to attract students’ attention. Therefore, we maximally broadened the list of selective subjects. Before the present, schoolchildren were able to choose only 5 subjects and they should study one of them. We offered around 40 subjects through the new Curriculum. Schoolchildren will be able to choose such subjects as mythology, XIX-XX European literature, practical law, astronomy, chemical technologies, history of Georgian art, folklore ensemble, history of ballet, medical biology and health, directions of the modern music, safety, management of conflicts and etc. Introducing of these subjects will support competition among the schools and develop several academic directions as the schools will try to offer interesting subjects to the schoolchildren.
One of the problems was the different teaching program. What innovations are presented in the new National Curriculum in this direction?
This problem is already solved in the new Curriculum. We introduced 60% compulsory components in humanitarian and public fields and 80% - in exact and natural sciences. This innovation will support the children’s mobility. Schoolchildren assessment system was advanced as well. It includes three components: homework, in-class assignment and summarizing assignment. All of these three components will have the same weight. Attendance of the schoolchildren will also have influence on the semester mark. If the schoolchild misses 25% of the lessons, 20% of the mark will be decreased. Maintenance of the score is considered as well. If the student does not agree with the score, he/she has a chance to take the exam once again. If he/she receives the same or higher score that she/he had before decreasing 20%, the score will be maintained. Finally, I want to underline parents’ role in the schoolchildren’s upbringing. Results of the researches conducted by us show the role of the parents in upbringing. The result is absolutely different when parent gets interested in their children’s education either everyday or once a week.