Nation building in modern India has faced the challenge of incorporating quality based value oriented education. In a welfare nation like India, the schools are entrusted with the duty to provide that kind of education.Reconstruction of curriculum to reflect indigenous tradition, social change and empowerment was advocated by Indian critical theorists from the late 19th century to the present. This study mainly concentrates on the comparison of curriculum between Public and Private Schools of Kolkata, to find out the scenario concerning educational planning and its exercise, with special reference to the aspect of curriculum. <br />Planning vs. Practice: Understanding the domain of school curriculum at Secondary Level in Kolkata<br /><ul><li>Eshita Kundu
Kolkata</li></ul>Comparative Analysis of School Curriculum<br />1990090top<br />Part-I<br />1.1 Introduction<br />The relationship between education and national development continues to be a question of critical concern in many countries. Education should function as an agency of cultural transmission as well as change; it should also reflect the dynamic process of nation building that is continually being modified by new conditions.<br />India is a union comprised of twenty-nine states and seven territories. The Constitution provides directives regarding the development of education throughout the country. Until the late 1970s, school education had been on the state list*, which meant that states had the final say in the management of their respective school systems. However, in 1976, education was transferred to the concurrent list through a constitutional amendment, the objective being to promote meaningful educational partnerships between the central and state governments. Today, the central government establishes broad education policies for school curricula development and management practices. These serve as guidelines for the states.<br />In 1986, extensive deliberations by various national committees on the country’s education system and policy culminated with the decision for a national curricular framework containing a common core along with flexible components. The common core includes the history of India’s freedom movement; constitutional obligations and other content essential to nurture national identity. These core elements are intended to cut across subject areas and were designed to promote a number of values (such as India’s cultural heritage, egalitarianism, democracy, and secularism, equality of the sexes, protection of the environment, removal of social barriers, observance of the small-family norm and inculcation of the scientific approach). Also, in order to reinforce the view that the whole world is one family, the curriculum would have the objective to promote international co-operation and peaceful co-existence. With regard to re-orientation of educational content and processes, the NPE** emphasized the need for bridging the schism between the formal education system and the country’s rich and varied cultural traditions. To this end, the preoccupation with modern technologies must not be allowed to sever new generations’ ties to India’s history and culture. In view of the growing concern over the erosion of essential values and increasing cynicism in society, readjustments in the curriculum are to be carried out so that education becomes a forceful tool for the cultivation of social and moral values. The policy further emphasized the integral role that manual work, sports and physical education should play in the learning process and the need to strengthen science and mathematics education.<br />However, looking into the matter from an investigator’s view, a wide range of gap can be found between the policies and the practices. The problem starts with the lack of supervision and evaluation programme. Generally, the process of curriculum development in India lies between the two extremes of centralization and decentralization. From time to time, the national government formulates the National Policy on Education which includes broad guidelines regarding content and process of education at different stages. These guidelines are further elaborated by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). <br />______________________________________________________________________________<br />*The areas, in which the respective central and state governments have domain, have been identified in the Constitution as the central list, state list and concurrent list.<br />**National Policy on Education<br />However, the states consider whether to adopt or adapt the NCERT syllabi and instructional materials. Thus, the NCERT curriculum framework is always a suggestion rather than prescriptive and it is not enforceable by law in the states.<br />Then, there are the various types of schools such as the PUBIC and the PRIVATE, who give more impetus to the problem, previously mentioned. These schools can be found in a state, entrusted with the duty of preparing the future generation in such a way, so that they can place themselves perfectly within the broader context of the society. All public schools follow the same basic set of local and federal education guidelines. These laws generally cover the topics of educational program content, school curriculums, budgets, and funding. On the other hand, Private schools are still subject to government guidelines as well, but with a much greater degree of flexibility. In terms of curriculum, public school systems offer a program of education designed with the needs of the general public in mind. Basic subjects such as math, English, science, social studies, and physical education are taught. The state sets the standards for these and examines student competency via standardized testing at intervals throughout the year. Again, this is another area where private schools have more room to be flexible in. On the other hand Private schools generate their own curriculum and may offer more specialized courses, perhaps even taking students on extended field trips that cover one or more of the topics being focused on. Many private schools also use a form of standardized testing to determine student competency also.<br />That is why I actually felt interested to study the aspect of school curriculum. Based on the results of a pilot survey I decided to carry on my project on a larger scale. Thus, I have narrowed down the focus point of my study to a Comparative Analysis of School Curriculum between the Public and the Private Schools of Kolkata (at Secondary Level).<br />Nature & Scope of the Study: While thinking sociologically, we have to bear in mind that the goal of secondary education is not just to award degrees but rather to develop the younger generation in such a manner that they not only have a satisfying personal life but can also attain higher education. Therefore, secondary education has to provide for the all-round development of the students- intellectual, physical, moral and spiritual development, as well as development of the mind, body, heart, personality and knowledge; and promote skills and develop outlooks so as to produce a young generation that is intellectually alert, physically strong, morally uplifted, socially committed, and economically self-reliant. The only way to achieve this is based on the quality and value-based education which should be the focal point of every curriculum irrespective of their public or private orientation. <br />Area of Interest/ Objectives of the Study: This study mainly deals with the issue of comparative analysis of curriculum between public and private schools to find out-<br /><ul><li>Which group of school (whether the public or the private) is performing better in terms of building ‘productive capacities’ of the students;
What factors are responsible to make one group of schools (among the public and the private) more efficient than the other;
Difference between the public and the private schools in terms of construction of the curriculum;
Difference between the public and the private schools in terms school infrastructure;
Difference between the public and the private schools in terms of teaching-learning process;
Whether the level of efficiency depends on the organized structure of the institution</li></ul>Rationale of the study: Whereas a child gets his or her primary ideas of education and learning at home, school is the best institution to provide an atmosphere where he/ she can develop and strengthen his/ her unique capabilities to contribute to social awakening of the human race- as believed. While going through the details of modern schooling system in India I noticed that there are several aspects which should be taken into consideration at time of framing school curriculum. I admit that when a group of public school is performing much better in terms of building productive capacities of the students, at the same time there is lack of proper planning and evaluation in part of the public schools. There is a widening gap between the planning and practice. Even there was no as such data or survey report available regarding the performance of the schools to evaluate whether the policies are being properly implemented or not. <br />These lead me to carry out a small term descriptive research work in this field to contribute to further planning and its execution.<br />Literature Review: To start with, I needed a proper line up that would help me to enrich my knowledge in this respect. And this is the juncture when I had to make a literature review on education with special reference to the school curriculum. In this section, mainly the expert’s theories, guidelines and comments are examined. Apart from that governmental plans and policies have taken into consideration.<br />Chapterization: Right after the literature review section, I have further divided my study into two chapters i.e. the methodology and data analysis portion and the conclusions with exclusive findings.<br />A Note on the Methodology: The research will utilize mainly qualitative techniques, including the use of semi structured questionnaire, observation and content analysis. Respondents will be chosen from students and teachers of both public schools (WBBSE) and private schools (CBSE) from different localities in Kolkata. Primary data collected thus will be supplemented by data collected from other sources such as government publications, books, and journals. <br />Primary findings indicate that these are the private schools that are performing much better than the public schools to build the productive capacities of the students. And it is the lack of supervision and evaluation procedure and the absence of organized structure that makes the public schools losers.<br />left28575 1.2 Review of Literature on Education and School Curriculum:<br />Every successful concept and project in life requires a proper framework and planning. This relates to all processes, including education. Whenever we embark on any new plan or procedure, we need to make sure that we have all the plans drawn up. What is on offer, what are the resources that we have, what are the steps, which we need to take and what are the goals that we need to achieve are some elements that need to be looked upon. A similar set of constraints when applied to education in schools and colleges gives birth to curriculum. A curriculum is more than putting together a set of academically required subjects. It must consider all aspects of the student life, the learning needs of students, the time available for the sessions and the teachers’ idea, capability and workload. Now that we know the constitution of a curriculum, let us go through some ideas explored by the scholars in this respect.<br /><ul><li>Idealism and Curriculum: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle’s position in this regard: 1</li></ul>Idealism believes that the goal of human life is exaltation of man’s personality. Education has to achieve this aim. The school curriculum, accordingly, needs consists of those subjects which are conducive to this goal. Any subject that creates an ideal or spiritual self is most welcome to an idealist. <br /><ul><li>The Socratic Method: According to Socrates all that is important is the development of knowledge through dialectics. Though he had not discussed about the concept of curriculum as such, the ‘Socratic method’ gave us certain ideas about it. </li></ul>Dialectic method requires the presence of another person as it is a conversation between two individuals. Conversation develops critical attitude. Being an idealist he believed in universal and eternal values. He was also interested in ethical aspect of human life. <br /><ul><li>Plato’s position: Plato, a great exponent of idealism conceives of the curriculum from the point of view of ideas. He believes that the highest idea of life is the attainment of the highest good or God. Hence, the curriculum ought to impart eternal values in order to enable the receiver to attain his highest good. The eternal or spiritual values determine three types of activities- intellectual, aesthetic and moral.
Scheme of Education (Curriculum) of Aristotle: The Aristotelian scheme of education is composed of elements drawn chiefly from Athenian education and is similar in many respects to that of Plato. The child until six years of age should be trained by the parent. Beyond this period it should be controlled by the government but at the same time the parent is also responsible for moral education. He strongly pleaded for maintaining the ‘’ Gymnastics’’ for the development of sound physique and moral qualities. Gymnastic training should also aim to develop good habits and control of the passions and appetites. It should not aim at mere creating of hardy soldiers. </li></ul> Plato advocated strict censorship of the traditional subjects like literature and music for young children. But Aristotle had a different view in this respect. In his ‘‘Poetics’’ has shown the effects of literature, music and fine arts on the characters of individuals. These were accepted as the appropriate means for moral and intellectual education. According to Aristotle, the curriculum must be varied, diversified and broad based. Physical science, social science, logic and state-craft all should be included in the curriculum. <br /><ul><li>Rousseau’s view on curriculum: Beside the general discussion on the aims of education, Rousseau, in his book Emile, has given specific discussion on different stages of education and discussed the importance of curriculum at every stage. According to him, children are not capable of learning things which the adult can. Their ways of seeing, learning, thinking and feeling are different from those of adults. It is the period of physical development of the child. </li></ul>In the second stage, there will be no verbal lessons for him. He is to learn by his experiences. No book should be used. Education at this stage includes mainly training of these because these are the gateways of intellect. But no intellectual training should be provided at this stage. <br />In the next stage, the child is ready to receive the knowledge of the preadolescent period. Accordingly, he will be taught physical science, language, mathematics, manual work, trade, social relations, music and drawing. Curiosity or interest is the soul guide in this period of education. The curriculum, therefore, at this stage should be built around curiosity and useful activities. <br />And finally, with the beginning of adolescent period begins the moral and religious education. Moral qualities such as benevolence, kindness, service and sympathy should be developed now. Besides moral education the curriculum at this stage should include history, religious instruction, aesthetics, physical culture, sex instruction etc. Because of the appearance of sex impulse the adolescent at this stage has to learn the control of passions. <br /><ul><li>John Dewey’s conception of curriculum: 2 Dewey had no faith in traditional curriculum as it can not fulfill the aims of education set forth by him. The traditional curriculum does not take into account the child’s nature and so he has discarded it. </li></ul>To Dewey, it is the child’s own activities around which the school subjects should be organized, not around subjects like science, literature, history, geography etc. subject compartments, according to Dewey, are not necessary for children. He considered the child as unity developing through its own activity but in a social setting. Mind, he said, is essentially social. It was made what it is by society and depends for its development on social agencies. It finds its nutrients in social supplies. It is, therefore, essential that social experiences should form the main factors of curriculum. <br />According to Dewey, the curriculum should consist of ‘‘educative experiences and problems.’’ It should be noted that Dewey uses the word “educative experiences” in a special sense. According to Dewey, only those experiences are educative which pay due regard to the natural inclinations of the field in the context of the social, political, physical and economic conditions of the community. According to him, an educative experience is creative and leads to further experience. <br />Besides, in general principals of curriculum construction, Dewey has advised as to how to organize the curriculum. Ha has proposed an integrated curriculum and follow the principal of correlation in the organization of the subjects. <br />His scheme of curriculum also included esthetic, religious and moral education. For full development, Dewey considered art as “perfected expression of basic human activity.”<br /><ul><li>Bertrand Russell’s idea of school curriculum: 3 Russell recommended a general and compulsory curriculum for children up to the age of fourteen years. At this stage the curriculum should include ancient literature, modern language, mathematics, science, geography, music and dance. Russell has prescribed two types of curriculum for children between the age group 15-18. Specialization begins at this stage. i) Specialized curriculum will be followed by advanced students. ii) General curriculum will be followed by mediocre and less intelligent students. </li></ul>The curriculum at this stage should include humanities, mathematics, ancient literature, anatomy, physiology, hygiene and civics. Russell had laid stress on the study of mathematics and history. <br />He suggested that children should be educated in modern schools where Montessori Method is followed. Apart from that Russell has strongly advocated sex education for children along with other subjects to prevent abnormal behavior and mental derangement. As regards religious education, Russell nourished a strong view of religious neutrality as religion is a personal affair. <br />He also strongly favored co-curricular activities in schools as these greatly help the total development of the individual, particularly on developing self-control. Sound mind is only possible in sound health. Thus, besides play, Russell has emphasized dance, music, agriculture and horticulture as extra-curricular activities. <br />These are the conceptions shared by some eminent foreign scholars of the education world. But we should also go through some of the ideas that are the products of indigenous effort of the Indian educationists. This would definitely help us to get some hold of the Indian scenario of education and schooling with special reference to the issue of curriculum.<br /><ul><li>Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar:4 Vidyasagar was a practical education reformer of India. Though there is not such documentation available that provides insight of his ideas of curriculum construction, a careful inspection of his works will give us some information regarding this issue. He established many institutions. He championed the cause of mother-tongue as medium of instruction. He was dead against corporal punishment as unpsychological. He introduced summer vacation and Sundays as holidays. He was an ardent advocate of non-official, secular and national education with national curricula, national teachers and national control. He was also a staunch supporter of women’s education in India.
Rabindra Nath Tagore:5 We all know that Tagore was the one who had spent the shortest period of his life in formal education. ‘School’ was the idea that he never likes because of the absence of informality between teacher and student. Thus, when he was nearly forty, he started ‘Santiniketan’ keeping in mind the informal set up that were missing in schools those days. And when he framed the curriculum there, ‘interaction’ was the key aspect of it. According to Rabindra Nath, a proper curriculum should be able to develop the following aspects of human personality;
Swami Vivekananda: 6 Vivekananda criticized the existed system of education. He was revolutionary in the field of education and touched every aspect of it. Vivekananda advocated “man-making” education.</li></ul>Accordingly Vivekananda gives a very practical concept of education in these lines: “We want that education by which character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded, and by which one can stand on one’s own feet.”<br />Swamiji laid emphasis on the development of integrated personality. This is possible only through total or many-sided development of personality such as intellect, physical, social, moral, emotional and aesthetic. He wanted to combine the intellect of a Sankara and the heart of a Buddha. He stressed on the need of the development of both inner and outer self of an individual.<br />Swamiji emphasized on the personality of the teacher in education. The education is only possible through intimate personal contact between the teacher and the thought. For this purpose he wanted to revive the old Gurukula system of education. <br />A teacher is to suggest not teaching. He laid emphasis on self-teaching or self-learning. He was a staunch supporter of freedom in education because he believed it is the first requisite of development. Hence, no teacher should exert any kind of pressure on his pupil. Education must be based on the needs of the child. <br /><ul><li>M.K.Gandhi: 7 The revolutionary proposals of Gandhiji on education were placed before the public through a series of articles in the “Harijan” in 1937 which later on developed into the Wardha Scheme of Basic Education. More or less Gandhiji’s ideas on curriculum construction can be found here, in an unorganized manner. The ideas on which the scheme was based were as follows:
Their time should be mostly spend on manual work under the supervision of the teacher. Manual work should be considered as the part of education.
The child must know why and wherefore of every purpose.
General knowledge should be imparted to the child as soon as it is able to understand things.
The hand of the child be trained to draw geometrical figures before he learn to write, that its good hand writing should be taught from the beginning.
The child should learn to read before he is able to write.
Children should not be compelled to learn anything.
The process of teaching should be connected in a play-way, for play is essential part of education.
All education should be imparted through the mother-tongue of the child.
The second phase of education begins when a child is eleven years old and lasts up to sixteen.
The child should learn some vocation as preparation for future life.
He should acquire a general knowledge of world History, Geography, Botany, Astronomy, Arithmetic, Geometry and Algebra.
A boy or girl of sixteen years should know sewing and cooking.
In the third stage which begins at sixteen and ends at twenty-five, a young man or woman should receive education according to his or her desires and circumstances.</li></ul>On 23rd October, 1937, a conference was organized at Wardha to finalize the basic system of education. This conference resolved that the children should receive free education for seven years. Mother tongue should be medium of education. Every student must be taught some basic craft. <br /><ul><li>Sri Aurobindo:8 The essential principle of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy of education is freedom. Unity is never demanded at the cost of diversity. On the other hand, diversity creates a rich unity. Therefore, no rigid scheme of curriculum has been prescribed. The earliest permissible age for starting regular study according to Sri Aurobindo is seven or eight years. The proper medium for early education of the child is the mother tongue. The following criteria for planning curriculum are found in Sri Aurobindo’s writings:</li></ul>1. Human nature: The curriculum should aim at developing whatever is already given in seed form in the child. Education can only lead to the perfection of the instruments, which are already present in the students. Nothing can be taught or<br />imposed from outside.<br />2. Individual differences: The curriculum should be planned according to individual difference. The mind has to be consulted in its own growth. The aim of the teacher is to help the growing soul in drawing out his best and to make it perfect for a noble use.<br />3. From near to the far: Another principle governing the planning of curriculum is to proceed from near to the far, from that which is to that which shall be.<br />4. Modern and up-to-date: Sri Aurobindo was a modern thinker with a love for modernity and up-to-date knowledge. Therefore, he prescribed that the education must be up-to-date in form and substance and modern in life and spirit. <br />5. Universal knowledge: The curriculum should include whatever is universally true: That is the basis of all scientific knowledge and philosophy.<br />6. Successive teaching: Sri Aurobindo disagrees with some educationists who wish to introduce every subject simultaneously to the child. He prescribes that the subjects should be taught successively.<br />7. Co-curricular activities: The school should provide not only academic but also co-curricular activities.<br />8. Five-fold curriculum: Integral education is psychic and the spiritual education. Therefore, the curriculum must be fivefold according to these five types of education.<br />9. Multisidedness: Integral education is multisided. It aims at all-round growth. Therefore its curriculum involves music, poetry, art, painting and sculpture, besides the academic subjects. These are necessary for the aesthetic development of the child.<br />10. Provision for the genius: The curriculum must provide for the genius. According to Sri Aurobindo, “What we call genius is part of the development of the human range of being and its achievements especially things of the mind and their will can carry us half way to the divine.<br />11. Moral and religious education: Curriculum for moral education should aim at refining the emotions and forming the proper habits and associations. Thus the aim of the curriculum according to Sri Aurobindo is the actualization of the potentialities of the students. The curriculum should not be fixed but flexible and evolutionary. A variety of choice and opportunities must be prescribed for maintaining the freedom of growth. The integral curriculum should find a due palace for every subject and every discipline.<br />Thus, for our own comprehension we mat define curriculum as a set of courses, including their content, offered at a school or university. The curriculum often contains a detailed list of subjects and the elements of teaching them.<br />John Franklin Bobbitt’s “The Curriculum” published in 1918 mentions curriculum as an idea that has its roots in the Latin word ‘race-course’. He also explained “The Curriculum” as the course of deeds and experiences through which children grow up into adults and get going for success in the society. <br /><ul><li>Education: Some theoretical Perspectives 9</li></ul>For any empirical study theoretical grounding is necessary. In this study my empirical findings and suggestions would be guided by the following theoretical perspectives:<br /><ul><li>The Functionalist Perspective: The functionalist perspective of education has been guided by two basic questions i.e. “What are the functions of education for society as a whole?” and “What are the functional relationships between education and the other parts of the social system?”4 The functionalist view of education tends to focus on the positive contributions made by education to the maintenance of the social system. Emile Durkheim saw the major function of education is the transformation of society’s norms and values for the creation of ‘social solidarity.’ Talcott Parsons argued that after the primary socialization within the family, the school takes over as the ‘focal socializing agency’. Schools act as a bridge between the family and society as a whole. Again Davis and Moore see education as a means of role allocation which is directly linked with the system of social stratification.
The Marxian Perspective: Like the functionalist perspective, the Marxian view of education is also guided by two basic questions i.e. “How is the education system shaped by the economic infrastructure?” and “How does the education system produce the kind of workforce required by capitalism?” Louis Althusser argues that the reproduction of labor power involves two processes. First, the reproduction of skills necessary for an efficient labor force. Second, the reproduction of ruling class ideology and the socializing of workers in terms of it. In his “Deschooling Society” in 1971, Ivan Illich’s main attack is on the failure of schools to match his educational ideas. He sees the ‘Hidden Curriculum’ operating in the stated way: 10 The pupil has little or no control over what he learns and how he learns it. He is simply instructed by an authoritarian teaching regime and, to be successful, most conform to its rules. Real learning, however, is not the result of instruction, but of direct and free involvement by the individual in every part of the learning process. </li></ul>The above discussion clearly gives an idea of a practical, quality oriented approach of curriculum construction where issues like teacher-student relationship and free interaction should be given utter priority. <br /><ul><li>National Curriculum Framework 2005: 11</li></ul>India is a free nation with a rich variegated history, an extraordinarily complex cultural diversity and a commitment to democratic values and well-being for all. Ever since 1986 when the National Policy on Education was approved by Parliament, efforts to redesign the curriculum have been focused on the creation of a national system of education. <br />In spite of the recommendations of the NPE, 1986 to identify competencies and values to be nurtured at different stages, school education came to be driven more and more by high-stake examinations based on information-loaded textbooks. Despite the review of the Curriculum Framework in 2000, the vexed issues of curriculum load and the tyranny of examinations remained unresolved. <br /><ul><li>The National Curriculum’s guiding principals: </li></ul>The following social, cultural, political, economic and educational parameters have guided the development of the national curriculum framework: <br /><ul><li>All citizens of India should have equal access to education. The specific needs of the disadvantaged sections of the society ought to be met through the curriculum;
Education regarding India’s cultural heritage needs to be imparted to students in order to develop national identity and a spirit of togetherness;
It is essential to impart knowledge of the citizens’ duties and rights, and ideals of the Constitution of India to children;
In view of the erosion of values, it is imperative through the curriculum to inculcate moral and social values amongst students;
Besides national identity and unity, it is also imperative to develop international understanding through the curriculum;
Protection of the environment and conservation of natural resources should be major objectives of school curriculum;
In view of the increasing population of the country, it is imperative to include suitable content relating to population education in the syllabi of different subjects;
The curriculum should aim at preparing a child for life, which means that relevant knowledge should be imparted and appropriate skills, competencies and values developed;
Education plays a significant role in national development by increasing human resources. Therefore, the primary objective of the curriculum ought to be total development of the child’s personality;
All the processes of education should be child-centered, with the teacher playing the role of a facilitator during the process of learning;
The curriculum should aim at developing students’ creative potential;
The curriculum should develop a scientific approach amongst students;
Work should not be considered as distinct from education. Instead , work should be adopted as a medium for imparting education;
The process of evaluation should be continuous and comprehensive;
Media and educational technology ought to be employed to make the transactions of curriculum effective.</li></ul>An important development since the National Policy on Education was formulated in 1986 has been the acceptance across the country of a common structure of education and the introduction by most states of the 10+2+3 system. There are eight years of elementary education (five years of primary school and three years of upper primary/ middle schooling) and four years of secondary education (two years of general secondary and two years of higher secondary). <br />The education system seeks to give due recognition and importance to the social organization, traditions, customs and value systems of the various communities, particularly Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. This is supported among other ways by the development of materials and curricula in their languages. The main characteristics of the national curriculum, developed in accordance with the above-mentioned principles, is described in the following sections.<br /><ul><li>General education
Scheme of Studies: Language/ Mathematics/ Science/ Social Science/ Arts/ Health and Physical Education/ Moral and Values/ Work Experience.
State-level curriculum implementation:</li></ul>The available feedback from the states indicates that, for the most part, they have revised their curricula along the lines recommended by the 1986 NPE and 1988 NCF. However, several have made adjustments that respond to specific local needs or socio-political pressures. Following are some highlights that reflect the dynamics of curriculum implementation at the state level.<br /><ul><li>Languages
Elective Courses </li></ul>Foundation Courses: (a) Language and Literature (b) Work Education (c) Health and Physical education, Games and Sports.<br />Elective Courses: (a) Three elective courses out of the subjects prescribed. Apart from well-established traditional disciplines, new objects of study would include computer science, technology, environmental education, etc.<br /><ul><li>The Role of a School: </li></ul>Role of a school is to develop raw child to perfect. But present system implication in poor and developing countries is that perfect (high marks) child is given opportunity to get enrolled to good schools or collages and if the child is less than the expectations is asked to seek T.C (I call removal certificate). Purpose of schools is irrelevant if child’s taste is not developed or child is not made to fit the world. It is schools, which are responsible for child’s growth. But often students feel study as evil and don’t enjoy. They feel parents and schools have forced on them a huge pressure that results to mental depression. They feel tortured when schools and parents expect their children to secure highest of highest mark. Seeking highest marks has become prestigious symbol for parents and schools. Many students escape schools due to hardship especially this happen to rural students. A student up to 5th standard needs to learn IQ, Discipline, Language, Current Basic General Knowledge, Basic Arithmetic. From 6th to 9th standard it is a time for the schools to develop the taste according to child’s interest. But in high school they often have to study selected field(s) through social/ practical involvement where they do not have the chance to select either the subject or the subject matter. But on the other hand what is seen is that students from 8th to 12th standard are more involved in books to copy to brain and paste that in the answer sheets, if weaker in memory take extra classes (tuition) to copy to brain in better way. It is with most of collage graduation study, students have no time to find or explore the objective of study only seeking better methods to copy them to brain. As a result of education societies inefficient policies students are duped and the purpose of education fails when after ranking highest in schools and collages. Quite often the child’s expectation to have better opportunities in real life is failed, as what studied is different from new apparent life. <br />This is where children feel deprived and alienated. But it should be the school to bridge that gap between family and society. The school should develop the inherent qualities of the students in such a way so that it can increase the productive capacities of the students.<br /><ul><li>Public vs. Private Schools: 12</li></ul>There are various conditions (ranging from the attention devoted to students to the space facilities as well as the supplies and other paramount details) that make one or the other of these school systems more appealing. Indeed those who are at the point of choosing a type of education for their children should consider some of the most important advantages as well as disadvantages or both manners of teaching the youth.<br />Undoubtedly the circumstances as well as method of learning and teaching can encourage the perfection of our skills and enriching of basic and cultural knowledge. The ancient conflict of public vs. private school offers everyone the chance to consider the main benefits. Both of these can secure for proper development and preparation for the future. There are some of the main domains that can determine our option when choosing one of these means of studying. For example- <br /><ul><li>Teaching</li></ul>Public School<br />In the case of public schools teachers are often hired due to their high degree and competence in various domains rather than being specialized for a certain field. Since children are enrolled in a high number in these schools, it is more useful for the authorities to have a person with different skills fulfilling more roles and functions. <br />Private School<br />On the other hand private schools have a strong inclination to employ professionals as well as individuals who are specialized to a single field of activities. These instructors will be able to teach students with great precision due to the low number of members of the class as well as the special attention devoted to all subjects and details. <br />Like the above one there are several aspects that should be taken into consideration while assessing the capacity of building productive essence of the students. We will discuss on that in the coming chapters.<br />Apart from the above mentioned themes, there are some concepts are needed to be conceptualized in a more specific way. Defining those concepts with the help of the literature review would be helpful to have better understanding of the research project.<br />CONCEPTS:<br />The main concepts used in this study are-<br />PLANNING(POLICY), EXECUTION OF THE PLANNING, PODUCTIVITY and ORGANIZED STRUCTURE.<br />Defining the above concepts:<br />PLANNING (POLICY): Planning in organizations and public policy is both the organizational process of creating and maintaining a plan; and the psychological process of thinking about the activities required to create a desired goal on some scale. This thought process is essential to the creation and refinement of a plan, or integration of it with other plans. The term is also used for describing the formal procedures used in such an endeavor, such as the creation of documents, diagrams, or meetings to discuss the important issues to be addressed, the objectives to be met, and the strategy to be followed. Beyond this, planning has a different meaning depending on the political or economic context in which it is used.<br /><ul><li>EXECUTION OF THE POLICY: Actually there is no proper definition of the term ‘execution of planning’. For our convenience we may say that this refers to the process of implementation of a planning that has been made for a development purpose. Unless a properly functioning governing body is there, it is hard to meet the goals of the project.
PODUCTIVITY: Productivity is a measure of output from a production process, per unit of input. In this present study the productive capacity of the secondary school students have been taken into account.
ORGANIZED STRUCTURE: When organization means a social arrangement to distribute tasks for a collective goal, the organization set up means the overall set up that is entrusted with the duty of performing the task.</li></ul>Now that we have been familiar with the terms and concepts, let us discuss the methodology* of the study in details.The present study is descriptive as well as qualitative in nature. VARIABLES: In order to move from the conceptual to the empirical level, concepts are converted into variables by translating or mapping them into a set of values. The concepts around which the questions are organized in this study are listed as follows:<br />NoIndependent VariableDependent Variable1.Components of School CurriculumProductivity of the students2.School InfrastructureTurn out of the Students3.Class Infrastructure Attentiveness of the Teacher and the student4.Teaching-Learning ProcessEffectiveness of the Teacher and the Students5.Teacher-Student RelationshipEfficiency of the System<br />Table 1.2 (a): List of Independent and Dependent Variables of the Study.<br />LOCATION OF THE STUDY: The present sociological study is conducted in Kolkata, because Kolkata is one of the metropolitan cities of India where the culture of the private schools merges with the waves of the culture of the public schools. <br />SAMPLING:** <br />UNIVERSE/POPULATION: In this study the basis of the universe/population is grounded on the secondary level of schooling. There are 160 public schools (WBBSE) and 28 private schools (CBSE) in Kolkata. In this study, three groups of universe/population can be found,<br />___________________________________________________________________<br />* Research Methodology is the philosophy of the research project. This includes the assumption of the values that serve as a rationale for research and standards or criteria the researcher uses for interpreting data and research conclusion.** Sampling refers to the systematic method of selection. In social research, it is used to select subjects to be studied.<br />In this study, three groups of universe/population can be found. These are as follows:<br /><ul><li>The (160+28) = 188 school curriculums of the secondary level (V-X) of both the public (WBBSE) and private (CBSE) schools of Kolkata.
Total 188 Public and Private Schools of Kolkata.
The secondary level teachers of those schools.</li></ul>SAMPLE: The sample of the study can also be divided into three sections. Such as: <br /><ul><li>Two MODEL SCHOOLS (one from each group of schools):- Brahmo Balika Shikskalaya (public) and Mahadevi Birla Girls’ High School (private).
I’ve drawn a sample of 18 public and 3 private schools on the basis of population proportion (i.e. 160:28=18:3) and then interviewed a sample of 42 students (two students from each of the 18+3 schools).
Then, I’ve also interviewed a sample of 21 school teachers (one teacher from each of the schools).</li></ul>TYPE OF SAMPLING: In this study I have used both the technique of Probability and Non-Probability sampling. <br /><ul><li>In case of choosing the two MODEL SCHOOLS, I have applied the method of Convenient Sampling of the Non-Probability group. **
To select my sample of students and teachers, I have used the method of Stratified Random Sampling of the Probability group. ***</li></ul>___________________________________________________________________________<br />**to compare and analyze their curriculum, it was convenient for me to choose those two schools only, since I have the scope of greater access to those two schools.<br />***since the universe is homogeneous (i.e. all respondents are part of the secondary education system) and each of the school/ student/ teacher has equal probability to be a part of my sample.<br />THE SAMPLING PROCEDURE:<br /><ul><li> STRATIFICATION</li></ul>lefttop<br />METHOD: <br /><ul><li>The basic technique or method used in this study is observation which has been supported by articles and journals that report similar observations and phenomena and followed by the Survey Method.
The technique followed is the Interview Schedule.
The instrument used was a semi-structured questionnaire.</li></ul>NATURE OF THE STUDY AND THE DATA COLLECTED: <br /> The nature of the present study and the data collected is entirely qualitative based on processes like content analysis-an inductive approach and interpretations of the narratives and the categorical data-a deductive approach. <br />CONTENT ANALYSIS:<br />Content analysis is a research tool used to determine the presence of certain words or concepts within texts or sets of texts. Researchers quantify and analyze the presence, meanings and relationships of such words and concepts, then make inferences about the messages within the texts, the writer(s), the audience, and even the culture and time of which these are a part. Texts can be defined broadly as books, book chapters, essays, interviews, discussions, newspaper headlines and articles, historical documents, speeches, conversations, advertising, theater, informal conversation, or really any occurrence of communicative language. Texts in a single study may also represent a variety of different types of occurrences, such as analysis of student and teacher interviews, writing journals, classroom discussions and lectures, and out-of-class interaction sheets. To conduct a content analysis on any such text, the text is coded or broken down, into manageable categories on a variety of levels--word, word sense, phrase, sentence, or theme--and then examined using one of content analysis' basic methods: conceptual analysis or relational analysis.<br />Thus Content analysis or Textual analysis can be defined as a methodology in the social sciences for studying the content of communication. Earl Babbie defines it as "the study of recorded human communications, such as books, websites, paintings and laws."<br />The process of a content analysis:<br />According to Dr. Klaus Krippendorff (1980 and 2004), six questions must be addressed in every content analysis:<br />Which data are analyzed?<br />What is the population from which they are drawn?<br />What is the context relative to which the data are analyzed?<br />What is the target of the inferences?<br />On the basis of the above guiding principles, I have tried to examine the available contents to make inferences that would support my research findings. The focal points of this section are as follows:<br />(P.T.O)<br /><ul><li>Data/ Content- The Curriculums of the two sample schools
Population- State Board Schools (WBBSE) of Kolkata (160) and CBSE schools of Kolkata (28)9
Name of the Schools- Brahmo Balika Shikshalaya (WBBSE) and Mahadevi Birla Girls High School (CBSE)
Aim of study- To make inferences that would strengthen my research findings.</li></ul>Inductive reasoning: <br /> Inductive reasoning works the other way, moving 3810067310from specific observations to broader generalizations and theories. Informally, we sometimes call this a "bottom up" approach. In inductive reasoning, we begin with specific observations and measures, begin to detect patterns and regularities formulate some tentative hypotheses that we can explore, and finally end up developing some general conclusions or theories.<br />Deductive reasoning: <br />Deductive reasoning works from the more general to the more specific. Sometimes this is informally called a "top-down" approach. 2762250183515We might begin with thinking up a theory about our topic of interest. We then narrow that down into more specific hypotheses that we can test. We narrow down even further when we collect observations to address the hypotheses. This ultimately leads us to be able to test the hypotheses with specific data -- a confirmation (or not) of our original theories.<br />These two methods of reasoning have a very different "feel" to them when you're conducting research. Inductive reasoning, by its very nature, is more open-ended and exploratory, especially at the beginning. Deductive reasoning is more narrow in nature and is concerned with testing or confirming hypotheses. Even though a particular study may look like it's purely deductive (e.g., an experiment designed to test the hypothesized effects of some treatment on some outcome), most social research involves both inductive and deductive reasoning processes at some time in the project. In fact, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that we could assemble the two graphs above into a single circular one that continually cycles from theories down to observations and back up again to theories. Even in the most constrained experiment, the researchers may observe patterns in the data that lead them to develop new theories.<br />LIMITATION OF THE STUDY:<br />In spite of intensive labor and energy given in the study, this study is confined to certain limitations. Like-<br /><ul><li>TIME LIMIT
NON COOPERATON IN PART OF THE SCHOOL AUTHORITIES AND RESPONDENTS
UNAVAILABILITY OF PROPER RECORDS IN THIS RESPECT</li></ul>Comparative Analysis of School Curriculum<br />PART-II<br /> 2.1 Comparative study of Two Model Schools:<br /> - An Inductive Approach<br />In the preceding section of this study I have adopted the inductive method of reasoning and I began my journey with the observation of individual school curriculum (it can be considered as ‘case study’). In doing so, I have carefully followed the method of content analysis and detected some common grounds or patterns and then end up with developing some general conclusions. Table 2.1 (a) will help us in this respect.<br />Comparison:<br /><ul><li>Basis for Comparison (Themes)Public schoolPrivate schoolName of the SchoolBrahmo Balika ShikshalayaMahadevi BirlaBoardWBBSECBSEManagementSchool is run by govt. funding and by the Brahmo Samaj Education trust.There is no separate management committee (apart from that set up as per govt. rules) for general inspection of the school activities.Mahadevi Birla School is run by Education Trust and fees taken from the students.For all practical purposes and to look after School activities including administration, educational matters, etc., a Management Committee is formed and entrusted Management Sub-Committee to take the responsibilities of different activities of the school.Philosophy of the SchoolDedicated to the philosophy that education gives knowledge while removing ignorance and indolence. Dedicated to the philosophy that education gives knowledge while removing ignorance and creating option for equality of opportunity.Motto of the School“Sradhyaya Toposa Sebaya”(Respect, Hardship, Nobility)“Tamasa Maa Yotirgamaya” (Lead us from the Darkness to the Light)Aims and Objectives of the SchoolQuality EducationSpiritual Development through Moral and value EducationSense of Humanism and Social UnderstandingQualitative and effective education. Intellectual, physical and spiritual development of students. Moral and scientific valuesOrganization of the Course ActivityBeginners Level (Montessori, Lower Montessori, Upper Montessori)Primary Section (Classes I to IV)Secondary Section (Classes V to X)Higher Secondary Section (Classes XI to XII)KG Level (KG I and KG II)Junior Level (Classes I to IV)Senior Level (Classes V to X)Academic SessionI. Quarter.............March to June II. Quarter.............July to OctoberIII.Quarter..............November to February I. Quarter.............April to June II Quarter.............July to September III Quarter..............October to December IV Quarter............January to March Curriculum (subjects taught)Bengali, English, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Social Science Bengali, Hindi, English, Mathematics, Science and Technology, Social Science Co-curricular ActivitiesOnly Physical Education and Annual SportsPhysical Education, Yoga, Mediation, SwimmingExtra-curricular ActivitiesNothing in particular, mainly occasional activity.Recitation in English, Bengali & HindiDebate, Speech, Extempore, Creative writing, Story telling.Drawing, Painting, Calligraphy, Music (vocal & instrumental), Craft and Needle work.Cultural - Skits, Dramas, Mono-acting, folk and classical dances, fancy dress etc.Exhibitions - Arts, Science, Craft School Hours10.45a.m- 4.10p.m7.45a.m- 2.10p.mSchool UniformWhite skirt and Blouse, One Half pants for P.T days.Blue and Black check Skirt and Blouse, another two sets of uniform for sportsBasic Infrastructure facilitiesThree buildings, playground, Transportation, Laboratory, Library, Toilet, Hall.Four buildings, three playgrounds, Transportation, Library, Laboratory, Teachers’ room, Students’ common room, Toilet, Computer Lab, Conference Hall, School Website.Teaching Staff12 full time teachers (Trained) and 7 part timers. (non trained)26 full time teachers (Trained)3 part timers (trained)No. of Students in each section (Average)6243</li></ul>Table 2.1 (a): Comparison of Basic Themes of Curriculum between Two Model Schools<br />Comparative Analysis:<br />If we go through the basic proponents of the curriculums, we won’t find out any remarkable difference as such. One of the main reason for this is, be it a public or a private one, both the schools are guided by the Education Policy of 1986 (Revised in 1991) and the Educational Framework of 2005 developed by NCERT. But the researcher’s aim was not just to trace out the points of departure between the two, rather to find out those aspects of the ‘hidden curriculum’ that enable the schools to perform their duties.<br />As I have said before that planning is necessary for the achievement of a goal. But obviously, that is not the only criteria to secure your position. A system of efficient observation and inspection should be there to work out the planning effectively. And for this there should be a well-structured management whose work would not be limited only to supervise but to manage the entire functioning of the school and to maintain a coordination between different parts of it. If we look at the scenario of the private school (Mahadevi Birla) in this regard, it is clear that the administration of the school is much more effective than that of the public school (Brahmo Balika Shikshalaya). Because there is a working Management Committee with its sub wings to take the responsibilities of different activities of the school. Whereas, in case of the public school, there is no separate management committee (apart from that set up as per govt. rules) for the general inspection of the school activities.<br />On the other hand if we look at the structure of the academic session through out the year, the blue-print of the public school seems to be more effective. The whole year is divided into three equal segments (First Term, Half-yearly and Annual) with six months interval between each session. It gives the students more time to prepare their lessons and most importantly the ‘half-yearly’ examination gets over before the Puja vacation in October. On the other hand the academic session of the private school is divided into four main blocks with several numbers of internal tests. That is why there seems to be huge pressure on the little champs which in turn may cause harm to their innovative character. But yes of course there are some areas where the two model schools differ form each other in terms of effectiveness and expertise. Those are as follows: (P.T.O)<br /><ul><li>Co-Curricular activities
Teaching Staff</li></ul>There is no doubt that in terms of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities the private school is far more advanced that the public one. There are rooms for various kinds of practices that are essential for the all round development of the children, at the same time effective measure to minimize the boredom of the syllabus. These activities are also essential to bring out that aspect of a student’s character where he/she is most capable of and on the basis of which they can choose their career options as well. Again the basic infrastructure facilities including the teacher: student ratio is comparatively poor in the public school. <br />These four criteria mentioned above are very important to judge the standard or the quality of services of the schools. And that is giving us an impression that says private schools are performing better in terms of providing qualitative services. <br /> Narrative Analysis -A Deductive Approach<br />In the preceding section of this study I have adopted the deductive method of reasoning for analysis and interpretation of the narratives with an aim to reach a conclusion that would either support my research proposition (Private schools are performing better in terms of building productive capabilities of the students) or negate it.<br />The upcoming section has been broken down into four further sections. In doing so, I have carefully made certain tables and charts that would help us to gain a vivid description of the topic. <br />2.2 Curriculum Construction<br />Curriculum is the some total of school’s efforts to influence learning whether in the classroom, on the playground or out of school. It includes the totality of experiences that a pupil receives through the manifold activities that go on in the school- in classroom, library, laboratory, workshop, playgrounds and in the numerous informal contacts between the teachers and pupils. In this case, the whole life of the school becomes the curriculum which can touch the life of the students at all points and help in the development of the balanced personality. Curriculum is considered as a tool in the hands of the artist (the teacher) to mould his material (student) in accordance with his studio (the school). The curriculum is an aid in the process of adjusting the child to the environment in which he functions from day to day and in wider environment in which he will have to organize his later activities.<br />Thus the question of curriculum construction should be given prior importance over all the other aspects. And in the following way the researcher is trying here to compare the differences in curriculum construction between the public and private schools of Kolkata. <br />Why to formulate the curriculum: This includes taking into consideration the aims of education. While examining the respondents’ (only the teachers were considered) concerns in this regard I really do not find as such difference between the public and private schools. On an average their basic interest is to develop qualitative and effective education, intellectual, physical and spiritual character of students and incorporation of oral and scientific values for developing the sense of humanism and social understanding.<br />What to include: This leads to the content of the curriculum. In a broader sense it includes various subjects, activities and experiences. As far as the secondary level of education is concern, there is no remarkable difference in the main subjects and the subject matters between the two groups of schools. But the most striking and shocking point as well is that in the public schools the options for co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are absent in 84% and 64% respectively. Whereas in each of the private schools these options exist; though the level of their availability and implementation varies. Again there is another set of differences that says in those public schools where the co-curricular and extra-curricular activities do exist (16% and 36% respectively) students can exercise them only in occasions like annual prize distribution ceremony, annual sports, social day, Independence Day celebration or in case of competitions. <br />Apart from that if we look into the issues like community development, conservation of culture, principle of future orientation, self- development, personality grooming etc. In each section the private schools are performing better than the public schools. Table 3.2 (a) will show the findings in this regard. .<br />ThemesPublic Schools (%)Private Schools (%)Presence of Co-curricular ActivitiesYes-16*Yes-100Presence of Extra-curricular ActivitiesYes-36**Yes-100Participation in Public Awareness CampYes-25Yes-70Participation in Community Development ProgrammeYes-7Yes-52Availability of training for Professional CourseYes-NilYes-83<br />Table 2.2 (a): Comparison of Key Themes in School Curriculum<br />*Most of the time in case of the public schools it is only the physical education or physical training (P.T) that is available as co-curricular activities. And among the 84% of the respondents who do not have access to any co-curricular activity, 12% have reported that are not even familiar with the term.<br />**Again in case of extra-curricular activities, those of the 36% who have basic access to these, have also revealed that the extra-curricular activities are mainly concentrated in singing and dancing classes. The other activities like debate, extempore, creative writing, and drama etc. are rarely practised. <br />When to use: This is mainly concern with the different stages of the child so that ‘motivational aspects’ may be handled satisfactorily. According to the latest governmental circular the public schools are designed to divide their academic sessions into five sub segments within three broad terms i.e. First term, Half-yearly and Annual. On the other hand, most of the private schools have divided their academic sessions into four basic segments along with innumerable class tests and ‘surprise tests’ through out the year. But while thinking sociologically, it can be found that neither the public nor the private schools have realised the importance of life long curriculum. That is why, any measurement that would suit this approach, is missing in the entire curriculum of each school, be it a public or private one.<br />Assessment of the Performance of the students: While the teachers are concern and aware enough and their views vary to a large extent to point out what should be there in an ideal school curriculum, they are more or less in the same position regarding the effectively of the regular assessment system of the board to judge the performance of the students. But, yes of course both<br />the teachers and students have expressed their concern saying that nowadays the pressure of regular examinations and periodical short term tests has increased a lot and sometimes this is causing unusual depression and mental illness of the students (41% of the public school and 66% of the private schools have voted for this). The teachers are the sufferers too. In many cases, there is immense pressure on them. Giving regular lectures, finishing course, framing questions, checking exam copies etc. are becoming heavier for them also. Thus, not only the students, the teachers are also realizing that the preset assessment system is not working up to the mark, but somehow, because of their ‘mental block’ they have stick to that procedure only. Even the so called radical private schools are also failing to address this issue of a better alternative. <br />Evaluation of the Effectively of the Curriculum: As I have said before that planning is necessary for the achievement of a goal. But obviously, that is not the only criteria to secure success. A system of efficient observation and inspection should be there to work out the planning effectively. And for this there should be a well-structured management whose work would not be limited only to supervise but to manage the entire functioning of the school and to maintain a coordination between different parts of it. Time to time evaluation of the school’s overall performance could be the best possible solution. If we look at the scenario of the private <br />schools in this regard, it is clear that the administrations of these schools are comparatively much better than that of the public schools. Table 3.2 (b) will show the findings in this regard:<br />Themes Public Schools (%)Private Schools (%)Province for Annual InspectionYes-NilNo-Yes-96Province of Publication of Annual JournalYes-23Yes-100Presence of Management CommitteeYes-18*Yes-100Working status of Management CommitteeRegular-3Irregular-97Regular-100Irregular-Opportunity of participation of the Teachers In Framing CurriculumYes-7Yes-59Scope of Incorporation of New Socio-Economical Issues into the curriculumYes-88**Yes-100Need to Change the existing Syllabus and CurriculumYes-100Yes-100<br />Table 2.2 (b): Comparison of Key Themes in Curriculum Construction<br />*These 18% of the public schools where there exists separate management committee are government undertaking. <br />**In these schools new socio-economical issues are mainly comprises of computer aided literacy.<br />Teachers Participation in Curriculum Planning: Recognition of the fact that no real progress can take place without the teacher’s involvement in curriculum development came only a few decades ago. The decisions of the overall purpose of the schools, the general scope and structures of their programmes was taken by public men, experts and administrators without the benefit of any participation by teachers. Today, planning and action by teachers are promoted in the private schools. Individual and cooperative efforts by teachers to decide when, how and what to teach, to revise courses, select content, plan units and produce teaching aids has become a common practice in the private schools. But at the same time the public schools are lacking behind in this respect. The government have failed to address this issue till date.<br />This curriculum development study has clearly shown that a significant development has taken place where the participation of teachers was both more extensive and inclusive and where more teachers were involved in decision making and in the production of materials. (59% teachers in the private schools and only 7% teachers in the public schools). <br />In sum the private schools are performing better in several qualitative as well as quantitative aspects when there is no such remarkable difference between the public and private schools in terms of core subjects and rules and regulation. It is the lack of supervision and up to date reformation of the education policies that makes the public schools less effective.<br />2.3 The Paradigm of School infrastructure<br />Meaning and Definition of Infrastructure: Infrastructure can be defined as the basic physical and organizational structure needed for the operation and proper functioning of an organization or institution. Based on the set up in which it is operating, the infrastructure can be divided into two categories i.e. “hard” and “soft”. Whereas the “hard" infrastructure refers to the large physical networks necessary for the functioning of a modern industrial nation, the "soft" infrastructure refers to all the institutions which are required to maintain the economic, health and cultural/social standards of a country, such as the financial system, the education system, the health care system, the system of government and law enforcement, as well as emergency services.<br />As the education system is coming under the “soft” section, we should have a definite understanding of that. “Soft" infrastructure includes both physical assets such as highly specialized buildings and equipment, as well as non-physical "systems" such as the body of rules and regulations governing the various systems, the financing of these systems, as well as the systems and organizations by which highly skilled and specialized professionals are trained, advance in their careers by acquiring experience, and are disciplined (if required) by professional associations.<br />Importance of the Infrastructure of a School: The goal of infrastructure development in primary or secondary school is to increase school attendance motivation and to improve academic performance of students. It is assumed that favorable attitude towards school infrastructure quality facilitates the above two. The infrastructure should be developed in such way so that in can accommodate the following aspects: (a) incorporate new technology (b) promote effective learning and teaching (c) promote effective learning and teaching (d) be environmentally sustainable support community involvement.<br />In this study the development of infrastructure facilities and the present working conditions of those in the public and private schools are being examined and compared to find out which group of school id providing better facilities. It is needed to find out because on the infrastructural facilities the motivation for school attendance and achievement of performances are depended to a large extent, as per the expert’s comments. In this study, the components of the school infrastructures have been classified in two groups: (a) overall infrastructure (b) class infrastructure. Whereas the overall infrastructure will describe the entire circumstances of the schools, the class infrastructure in particular will depict the level of efficiency of the schools to mobilize the students. Table 3.3 (a) and Table 3.3 (b) will present the research findings respectively in this regard: <br />ThemesPublic Schools (%)Private Schools (%)Location of the SchoolBusy Area-55Favorable-45Busy Area-60Favorable-40No. of Buildings per school (Primary, Secondary, H.S)2 on average3 on averageAvailability of PlaygroundYes-92Yes-100No. of Playground per school1 on average1 on average*Toilet FacilitiesWell maintained-40Poor-60Well maintained-91Poor-9Availability of SickroomYes-23Yes-76Availability of First-aid AssistanceYes-100Yes-100Presence of CaretakersYes-100Yes-100**No-Provision for Teacher’s Common RoomYes-100Yes-100Provision for Student’s Common RoomYes-NilYes-22Access to LibraryYes-100***Yes-100Presence of LaboratoryYes-100#Yes-100Presence of Assembly HallYes-96Yes-100Province of I-cardYes-100##Yes-100Maintenance of Rule-BookYes-100Yes-100Availability of Canteen FacilitiesYes-NilYes-17Transport Facilities of the SchoolProvided 2 School Buses on averageProvided 5 School Buses on average<br />Table 2.3 (a): Comparison of Primary Themes of Overall School Infrastructure.<br />*In most the cases the playground is huge (similar to 2 grounds of public schools)<br />**Caretakers are trained, not unprofessional like those of public schools<br />***Most cases librarians are not appointed, or if available, not well trained<br />#Not so well equipped<br />##They are never used for inspection purpose<br />ThemesPublic Schools (%)Private Schools (%) Student: Teacher Ratio per class62:143:1Size of ClassroomLarge-73Small-27Large-58Small-42Use of Microphone in classYes-NilYes-63*Availability of Personal Desk for Each StudentYes-27Yes-88Colourful Chair-TableBlack or Brown-100Colourful-Black or Brown-60Colourful-40**Use of Computer in classYes-NilYes-83Use of Projector in classYes-NilYes-52Lighting Facility of classroomExcellent-29Standard-57Poor-14Excellent-45Standard-54Poor-1Writing Equipment in classroomBlack-Board-100Marking Board-Black-Board-22Marking Board-78Attentiveness in Classroom8786<br />Table 2.3 (b) Comparison of Primary Themes of Class Infrastructure<br />A careful study of Table 2.1 shows that the classroom infrastructures of the public schools are quite poor in terms of standard and quality. First of all, the student: teacher ration is quite higher in public schools than the private ones. According to NCERT norms the ratio should be 33:1 which is not followed either in public or private schools. And in case of public schools, as the number of students per class is quite higher than private schools, the disparity in ratio is more. Apart from that the overall classroom scenario of the private schools are much more attractive and scientific as well. In most of the cases microphones are used in class so that the student, sitting in the last bench, could here the voice of the teacher easily. Up to class six, colored table-chairs are used to attract more students. They are given personal desks to use, thus the sense of quality is ensured. And apart from that most importantly the other equipments used in classrooms are more advanced in private schools. But in spite of the fact 87% of the students of the public schools have declared that they attain classes with enthusiasm. But in case of private schools, that is reported 86%. May be it is the way of teaching that is the key factor. (It is going to be analyzed in the next chapter).<br />*the rest of the 37% of the public schools where the microphones are not used in class need further a little explanation. It is not that the infrastructure is not there, rather the classrooms are not that large or wide to use that devise. <br />**Up to class VI sometimes colourful desks are used (like- yellow, pink, sky-blue etc.)<br />2.4 An Investigation to Teaching-Learning Process<br />Teaching and learning is a process that includes many variables. These variables interact as learners work toward their goals and incorporate new knowledge, behaviors, and skills that add to their range of learning experiences.<br />Various Perspectives: Over the past century, various perspectives on learning have emerged, among them — behaviorist (response to external stimuli); cognitive (learning as a mental operation); and constructivist (knowledge as a constructed element resulting from the learning process) are the most exercised. Rather than considering these theories separately, it is best to think of them together as a range of possibilities that can be integrated into the learning experience. During the integration process, it is also important to consider a number of other factors — cognitive style, learning style, the multiple natures of our intelligences, and learning as it relates to those who have special needs and are from diverse cultural backgrounds.<br />System Approach: Consideration of these factors and the ways in which they interact provide an organic view of the teaching-learning process that is often called a “systems approach”10. This approach also provides a way of looking at ourselves, the environments in which we teach, and the environments around us. Using this perspective, we can better examine the process and better design the process itself.<br />Classroom Interaction: According to me, class interaction is the key factor to make a student enable to interact with the larger society in future. This teaching- learning process also contributes to grow a healthy teacher- student relationship which is essential and a prime factor to make the schooling an effective one, both for the teacher and for the student as well. Table 3.4(a) will present the differences between public and private schools regarding the classroom interaction. <br />ThemesPublic Schools (%)Private Schools (%)Maintenance of Schedule by Teachers*Regular-93Irregular-7Regular-97Irregular-3Regularity of the Students**On Time-100On Time-100Level of Attention provided by the Teachers8590Level of Attention in part of the Students6889Having a Favorite TeacherYes-100Yes-100Subject taught by the Favorite TeacherLanguage-54Social Science-36Science-10Language-87Social Science-9Science-4Province of the Environment of Equality of OpportunityYes-100No-Yes-100No-Exercise of the Equality of Treatment by Teachers***Impartial-92Partial-8Impertial-95Partial-8ThemesPublic School (%)Private Schools (%)Frankness towards the teacherPossible-74Impossible-26Possible-66Impossible-34Friendliness of the TeacherFriendly-80Non Friendly-20Friendly-65Non Friendly-35Level of Enjoyment in Doing Classes7072<br />Table 2.4(a): Differences between Public and Private Schools regarding the Classroom Interaction. <br />* Whereas for the teachers of the public schools there is no such regimentation in terms of timing to enter the school, in most cases the teachers of the private schools have to come on a fixed time; otherwise the gate will be closed for them too. <br />**There is a basic similarity between the public and the private schools regarding the strictness in time sense imposed on the students. In both cases, there is a fixed time within which the students must enter the school premise; otherwise he/ she would not be allowed to attend the first class at least. Even in worst case, they have to go back to home. ***This is very striking that on one hand students of both groups have accepted that equality of opportunity is there; on the other hand they have reported that sometimes teachers prefer a certain group of students. Thus a sense of deprivation is there though in a very light manner.<br />______________________________________________________________________________<br /> According to table 3.4 (a) there is no such element where the two groups of schools are differing vigorously. On an average, the environment of classroom interaction is quite similar in both public and private schools. <br />Teaching Learning Process: To me, the effectiveness of the schooling system mostly depends on the innovativeness of the teaching- learning process. “Knowledge does not belong to a teacher who is supposed to deliver it; it is rather the result of social interaction and the meanings the teacher and the students construct together. This process is not a linear sequence of events but a dynamic phenomenon, whereby the teacher, who is more knowledgeable, is called upon to act, among other things, as a mediator, influencing and being influenced by the students, who happen to lack this knowledge. In reality, this process is far more complicated than it seems, as there are a host of factors that affect its outcomes, for example, learner abilities, the classroom environment, infrastructure, etc”.11 Thus, we have to compare certain themes in this regard to judge the level of effectiveness of the public as well as private schools. Table 3.4 (b) will show the findings.<br />ThemesPublic Schools (%)Private Schools (%)Use of various Instruments in ClassYes-90Yes-100Exercising of Interactive Session in classYes-43Yes-74Application of Innovative Processes in classClass Presentation-Group Discussion-3Debate-5Any Other-Class Presentation-100Group Discussion-26Debate-13Any Other-Regular checking by TeachersYes-81Yes-60Provision for Consulting Reference BooksYes-60Yes-NilProvision for Consulting Guide BooksYes-84Yes-NilScope for Discussion on Topics Outside Syllabus in classYes-23Yes-15Province of PunishmentYes-100Yes-100Type of PunishmentVerbal-70Physical-23Mental-7Verbal-82Physical-13Mental-5Need to go to Private TutorYes-100Yes-100Preference to Sit for ExamsYes-67Yes-43Preference to Mode of ExamRegular Class Tests-12Periodical Exams with Regular Interval-88Regular Class Tests-37Periodical Exams with Regular Interval-63Satisfaction of the Students regarding Examination System6952Satisfaction of the Students regarding Teaching Learning Process8094Satisfaction of the Teachers regarding Examination Process6166Satisfaction of the Teachers regarding Teaching Learning Process6289<br />Table 2.4 (b): Comparison of Basic Themes of Teaching Learning Process<br />Starting with the basic themes of teaching learning process first of all we should look into the matter of using various teaching instruments. They play a very significant role in attracting the attention of the students. But whereas in the private schools several instruments like board, chalk, duster, map, table, chart, marker, scale, globe etc. are used in each class that aspect is totally absent in the public schools. The teachers only use traditional equipments like chalk and duster. Percentage of interactive session is also higher in case of private schools. Then if one looks at the innovative teaching learning processes, group discussions, debate, class presentations are hardly exercised in public schools. But, whatever technique the schools adopt, the class lectures do not seem sufficient for the students, because, 100% of the student respondents have declared the need to go to private tuitions. <br />But there are some effective areas in public school, that are absent in part of the public school. They seem to have treated more professionally, but sometimes informality may lead to better result. For example, though it is rare, but public schools do provide ‘extra classes’ if needed. But in private schools such assistances are never given. The teachers of the public schools often encourage the students to consult reference books (for higher classes only) which are necessary to enrich their knowledge and understanding. But in private schools, such initiatives are never suggested. They use reference books only in case of Mathematics. But yes of course, we have to bear in mind that in those public schools students have to take the help of guide-books that indicates that the teacher have failed to provide adequate assistance to the students.<br />Another striking point to be noted is that students as well as the teacher of both the groups have shown their disrespect towards the existing examination procedure. When asked the reason for that, 87% of them said that the present system of examination have created immense pressure on both the students and teachers. This system of exam and evaluation has failed to increase the efficiency level of the structure. In spite of that, 62% and 89% of the public and private school teachers respectively expressed their views in favor of the existing examination process, while students have utterly negated it. (May be it is the nature of the human mind to accept whatever is going on, than to call for a radical change).<br />Co-curricular and Extra-curricular activities: Last but not the least for sure. In this modern age of education, the importance of the co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, are unbelievable. Apart from the traditional subjects and the subject matters, nowadays, there is a need to introduce new areas of life, which can provide better career alternatives as well. And it is not that the co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are important for career perspectives, rather they are valuable aspects to enhance the productive nature of the students. They are also important to minimize the boredom of the syllabus. Table 3.4 (c) will help us to understand the comparative scenario in this respect:<br />ThemesPublic Schools (%)Private Schools (%)Presence of co-curricular activitiesYes-16Yes-100Presence of extra-curricular activitiesYes-36Yes-64Regularity of exercise of co/extra curricular activitiesRegular-Only P.TOccasional-100Regular-100Occasional-ThemesPublic Schools (%)Private Schools (%)Participation in School FunctionYes-58Yes-36Participation in School SportsYes-81Yes-67Participation in any Competition Outside SchoolYes-14Yes-52Participation in PAC’s* organized by your schoolYes-25Yes-70Provision for School PicnicYes-100Yes-100Provision for Educational Tour form SchoolYes-89Yes-100Provision for Long Term Trip from SchoolYes-67Yes-100Provision for Annual MagazineYes-41Yes-100Provision for Students Participation in Annual MagazineYes-23Yes-43Provision for Annual InspectionYes-22Yes-100Frequency of Parent-Teacher MeetingRegular-Occasional-100Regular-100Occasional-Student’s preference on Career OptionTraditional-86Professional-14Traditional-52Professional-48Availability of Proper Training for Desired Career OptionYes-NilYes-sometimesNeed for Psychological Counselor in School (Teacher’s View)Yes-100Yes-100Teacher’s Scope to Take Part in Framing School CurriculumYes-NilYes-15Need to Revise the 1992 Educational Policy (Teacher’s View)Yes-10No-No Comments-90Yes-23No-No Comments-77<br />Table 2.4 (c): Comparison of Basic Themes of Co-Curricular/ Extra-Curricular Activities <br />*PAC- Public Awareness Camp like- Tree plantation, Cleanness Drive etc.<br />While comparing the co-curricular and extra-curricular activities of the public and private school, the first thing that should study is, the conditions of the public schools are very poor. When 100% of the private schools have the option for sufficient co-curricular activities, only 16% of the public schools have access to basic co-curricular activities and it is only the period of physical exercise that they can cultivate. Again, the domain of extra-curricular activities of the public schools is restricted to the fields of singing and dancing whereas in the private school students often take part in drama, cultural show, debate, extempore, drawing competition and so on. Thus, qualitatively the public schools are performing much better than the public schools. <br />On one hand when the public schools are performing on an average tare inside the boundary of the schools, the students of the private schools are more open and sound to outward activities. <br />As I have discussed in chapter 2.1, in most cases, there is a lack of proper supervisory activities and monitoring in public schools. On contrary in the public schools, the surveillance structure is highly functional. Often that causes better result in part of the private one. <br />Another aspect that should be mentioned here, which could be effective for the planning and decision making purpose, is that the teachers of the private schools sometimes enjoy the opportunity to take part in syllabus making process and framing of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. That aspect is completely absent in case of the public schools, because these schools are directly operated on the basis of state or national policy, where there is no provision for the teachers to take part in policy making programme. <br />2.5 A Note from the Teacher’s Desk:<br />The teacher is the yardstick that measures the achievements and aspirations of the nation. The worth and potentialities of a country get evaluated in and through the work of the teacher, the people of a country are the enlarged replica of their teacher. They are the real nation builders. It needs no description that the teacher is the pivot of any educational system of the younger students. On him rests the failure or the success of the system. If the teachers are well educated and if they are intellectually alive and take keen interest in their job, then only, success is ensured. But, if on the other hand, they lack training in education and if they cannot give their heart to their profession, the system is destined to fail. Hence, the teacher is another vital component of the school. “The teacher is a dynamic force of the school. A school without teacher is just like a body without the soul, a skeleton without flesh and blood, a shadow without substance. There is no greater need for the cause of education today than the need for strong manly men and motherly women as teachers for the young. As social engineers, the teachers can socialize and humanize the young by their man-like qualities.’’12<br /> For the proper fulfillment of the national goals mentioned above and for their Proper fulfillment of which education must mediate, the teacher's role assumes great significance. Today the average teacher's Perception of his role and responsibility is, far too limited and is concerned with his own immediate tasks and later covering the subject matter prescribed for the examinations. The teacher must actively and feelingly associate himself, as an essential and responsible partner, in the great tasks which face the nation. Though in the previous sections I have already discussed in a large extent the various roles and duties of a teacher and how do the teachers of a private and public school differ from each other, at this juncture I would like to share some of my further findings in this regard. Table 3.5 (a) will show the results:<br />ThemesPublic Schools (%)Private Schools (%)Participation in Syllabus ConstructionPossible-26Possible-100Participation in framing Co-curricular activitiesAllowed-NilAllowed-12Participation in framing Extra-curricular activitiesAllowed-NilAllowed-41Use of Innovative Processes in ClassYes-26Yes-100Organizing Parent-Teacher Meeting on Individual EffortExercised-19Exercised-NilInformal Relation with the StudentsPracticed-73Practiced-36Opinion on School’s Level of Adaptability Up to the mark-45Poor-55Up to the mark-100Poor-Opinion on Introduction of Sex EducationNecessary-30Not Necessary-70Necessary-63Not Necessary-37<br />Table 2.5 (a): Comparison between the Views of the Teachers<br />Comparative Analysis of School Curriculum<br /> <br />PART- III<br />3.1 Summery of the Findings and Conclusion:<br />Curriculum, the teacher and the student, these are the vital components of the school system. And the overall effectiveness of the institution depends on the functioning of these elements whether independently or on the basis of their joint venture. Here, I would like to summarize my set of findings into two sections. <br />In this study, one of my main concern was to find out which groups of school (public or private) is performing better in terms of building productive capacities of the students. There are several indicators, ranging from quality of the text books to the province of regular inspection of the performance, which should be taken onto consideration while making any comment in this respect. Considering those aspects together I would like to say that overall in many respects the private schools are definitely performing better in terms of building productive capacities of the students. Here, we have to remember that, building productive capacity does not mean scoring a high mark in examination. Rather the ability to interact with the larger society as a whole, the ability to cope up with the pace of modern age, the freeness to interact with others, the amount of social engagement, the level of community participation etc. are the true indicator of the concept. And form the results of my findings and observation I must say that there is no doubt in saying that the private schools are performing better any day, any time. <br />My set of quarries aimed to find out the reasons or the factors behind the better performance. Keeping aside other factors, like- untrained faculty, low student: teacher ratio, traditional method etc., there are certain important dimensions that work as the key factors behind the better performance of the private schools. They are as follows:<br /><ul><li>Innovative steps taken by the teachers to improve teaching-learning process
Existence of proper co-curricular and extra-curricular activities
Modern techniques and use of modern equipments
Scope of the teachers to take part in curriculum construction</li></ul>Some of the above themes are also present in the public schools, but the reality is that they are not maintained properly. So, these schools are lacking behind. It is the responsibility of the governments to chalk out a proper planning to have an effective observation on the performance of the students; otherwise another set of planning will be proven useless because of the absence of proper execution.<br /> Through out my study I have tried hard to come up with as many differences as I can accumulate. The entire study has been divided into four parts among which PART-II is the most important one. That is the data analysis part where at every stage I have cited a number of tables and made explanations of them to show my research findings. Whether it is the issue of curriculum construction or school infrastructure or teaching-learning process, private schools are far better to act according to their planning. There is no remarkable gap between their planning and practice, which is absolutely absent in case of the public schools. That is why, even in some cases where the efficiency level or the concern of the teachers of public school is much higher than that of a public school, they are lacking behind. In most cases the teachers of the public schools are well aware of the fact that the grade of service of their institutions are geeing down, but as they lack access to take part in policy making or planning of action, they failed to cultivate their ideas. <br />In such a situation, being a researcher and a close observer of the situation, I would like to point out certain steps that could be taken into consideration while making further planning in this regard:<br /><ul><li>Participation of the teachers should be increased in policy planning and its execution.
The views of the teachers should be consulted while framing the co-curricular and extra-curricular spaces in the main curriculum.
Governments should promote the idea of exercising innovative teaching-learning method.
Governments should arrange for better training facilities for the overall development of the institutions.
Modern study materials should by provided to students with up to date syllabus.
Extra care should be given to the technological aspect of education.
Proper measurements should be taken so that students can take part in ‘outside’ activities.
More teacher-student interaction should be promoted.
Regular inspection and scope for observation should be there to judge the efficiency level of service rendered by the institutions.
The gap between the planning and its practice should be minimized.
Policies must be revised and revived after a fixed time period; se it can be reframed after each 5 years planning.
And finally, not only the students, teachers and school authorities will be concern about the future, but the parents have to be more aware in this respect; because it is the question of their child’s future as well as that of the nature.</li></ul>In sum, the entire functioning of the educational system should operate in terms of government’s responsibility with a joint venture of private efficiency.<br />Appendix<br /><ul><li>Notes