Confessions of a Timetable…

Exploring the trends and future prospects of Modern-day Education

You can spot me in every classroom. I may be dressed in designer wear (if the Timetable Incharge shows his artistic and creative skills) or in plain and simple attire (that’s really unfair!). Whatever be my appearance, I am there to guide both teachers as well as students. I schedule the daily learning activities for different classes. I am devised so that things may run smoothly, systematically and in an orderly manner. Besides this very important function, I do perform another secret function which many of you are not aware of! No matter where I am displayed in the class, I manage to get a bird’s eye view of the entire class. I can easily sense what’s going on in the class.

Hello, I am your TIMETABLE!

I come into existence as a result of the collective effort put in by the concerned Class Coordinator and the School Administrator. Though I am meticulously planned, still many a times I am sharply criticized by the students for overburdening them with studies, and thereby increasing their workload. This is particularly true for the Board classes (classes due to give the Board exams), namely Xth and XIIth. I am stretched to heightened levels in the name of extra classes. Too much of these classes seem to be an uphill climb for the students. By the end, they appear to me as if they’re soldiers returning from the battlefield, tired and drained of all energy. A board class is just like any other class; all the hype and hoopla surrounding the board classes is unjustifiable. Students need mental rest and time for recreation, only then they can perform to the best of their abilities!

Talking of primary classes (upto V), I am now home to a very crucial subject of study: Computer Science. Students in primary classes are now being acquainted with the basic knowledge of computers, and are also taught with the help of computers (through PowerPoint Presentations). This is a welcoming change as computers have revolutionized the world, and they have become a part and parcel of everybody’s life. Kids are taught how to open and close programs, print and save files, and navigate the screen using a mouse. But there is still scope for improvement. Nature Visits and Outdoor Camping must be made an important component of me. This would include activities like Den building, environmental art, fire lighting, campfire cooking, bird watching and tree plantation. It would motivate them to be sensitive and caring towards the environment. Besides, observing a plant grow day-by-day would also enhance their emotional and cultural quotients. This way they can learn while having fun!

Of late I have witnessed new and innovative additions in my contents and I am really glad about it. The introduction of subjects like Disaster Management (for classes VIII, IX, X), Value Education (though some schools have incorporated it, many are still to adopt it), and Fashion Technology (in +2) is really commendable! They make me more meaningful and interesting. While Disaster Management teaches students how to react in case of an emergency or a calamity, Value Education strives to teach them moral and humane values and ethics. No wonder students would soon be assisting others hand in hand in the wake of a calamity! Fashion technology endeavors to promote creativity among students, and rocket them into the world of fashion. Students anxiously await the lab sessions in this subject as many schools have been equipped with hi-tech fashion labs with the best of resources. Not only this; according to a recent directive issued by the CBSE, Environment Education is being introduced as a compulsory subject for all classes (from I to XII).

There’s still one more subject which I would want to include in me, but sadly, it has always been an issue of debate. Yes, I am talking about Sex Education. While many opine that it’s a vital area of study, some others believe that it would bring about “cultural pollution”. It’s high time we educate the younger lot about safe sex and the use of condoms, but yes, the exclusion of terms like masturbation, arousal and sexual intercourse from the study material is quite justifiable. I hope the protesting groups soon understand the gravity of the situation, and that this subject gains mass acceptability.

Let me now share with you a general observation. Since I enjoy a panoramic view of the class, many-a-times when the weather is pleasant, I see many anxious faces peeping out of the window, longing to be out there and have a whale of a time. I feel there should be some scope of flexibility in me, and once in a while students should be granted their wish (even that’s an important part of growing up)!

The authorities need to understand that it’s high time we begin to think seriously and focus on the overall development of students. I must be planned and designed in such a way so as to promote an all-round development of their personalities. Come on, think of me in a wider sense; I am actually the reflection of the academic standards prevailing in our country! This is the period to carry out research and bring about marked improvements in our academic system, to be at par with the modern, dynamic times.

The future awaits smarter and more active kids…!!!

Pratik Goel

SRCC, Delhi