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The curriculum of tomorrow
The Jiva Institute advances education reform
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May 2001: Jiva Institute is a non-profit, non-governmental, research and development organization working for the advancement of education in India. Founded in 1992, the Institute is based in Faridabad, Haryana, outside New Delhi. Jiva is at the forefront of a new and innovative initiative that is taking hold today - the fusion of traditional Indian knowledge, culture, science and philosophy with modern technology and lifestyle.

Jiva's view of education goes far beyond its role as a means to livelihood. The organization perceives education as a path to self-development and self-fulfilment. Each human being is recognised as unique, possessing a distinct set of talents, faculties and interests. It is only through proper education that individuals are able to develop according to their abilities and contribute optimally to the well-being of themselves and others.

Jiva Institute
Sector 21B, Faridabad 121001
Haryana, INDIA
Tel: 0129-5429640, 5431198
Fax: 0129-5296174, 5295547
E-mail: info@jiva.org
http://www.jiva.org/Education/index.htm
Unfortunately, education today is not handled effectively. Inordinate emphasis on memorization and passing examinations is preventing learning from being either utilitarian or pertinent to real life situations. The crux of India's problems lies in this deficient educational system - one that results in a colossal squandering of human talent and effort just to cope with the challenge of examinations - and at the expense of fostering valuable life skills!

Jiva's aim is to transform this educational system from an instruction-based system to a learning-centred one. However, this change is envisaged as being within the folds of the existing pattern of education, rather than as a substitution of it. The focus of Jiva's efforts is two-fold:

  1. The creation of a model school - a school that is a functioning example in education reform, with innovative learning and teaching methodologies and,

  2. The creation of research based educational curriculum and resources - resources that can enable other educational institutions to implement the new methods successfully within the framework of their individual parameters.

Jiva develops and tests its ideas in the rough and tumble of everyday schooling. The Jiva Public School, a subsidiary to the Institute, is the crucible, where most of Jiva's experiments in education take place. This initiative is called ICOT: India's Curriculum of Tomorrow. Through ICOT, Jiva is developing a new standards-based educational framework that will inculcate the skills of creative thinking, decision making, problem solving, teamwork, cooperation and, above all, values that go to shape character. In doing so it is striving to provide the very best to education and training in India.

After years of intensive research, development and testing in actual, real-life learning environments, Jiva has developed a learning-centred system of education called the 'Jiva Learning System' - a system that blends ancient Indian wisdom and values with the latest educational techniques, so as to help children develop critical skills to cope with the demands of the information age. In addition to this, Jiva is also striving to bring professionalism into teaching through its Teacher Training courses and seminars designed to introduce the latest and most practical methods for teaching students.

People behind Jiva firmly believe that the swift onward march of materialism and the concomitant degeneration of ethical standards, call for integration of human values into school curricula. All curricula and learning resources developed at the Institute, therefore, bears a distinct undercurrent of moral values and are embedded with authentic activities aimed at inculcating a sound character and refined thinking skills in children.

The immediate outcome of this has been the instant success of Jiva's study materials with over 250 schools around the country, implying thereby that over a lakh of Indian children are today studying from Jiva books. At higher decision-making levels too, Jiva's efforts and expertise are gaining recognition. The Ministry of Human Resource Development and the UNESCO have appointed Jiva to formulate an IT policy for education in the Indian environment.

At Jiva, each day is a welcome step towards evolution, change and improvement. We are forever striving in whatever way we can, to fulfil our role in society. Some of our plans include:

  • Developing a new, ultra-modern centre in Faridabad, currently under construction at our 1.5 acre campus
  • Establishing a research university to amalgamate our rich Indian culture and heritage with modern lifestyle
  • Publishing world-class books, software, and visual media. Jiva is committed to the advancement of education in India and worldwide.

To achieve these objectives, Jiva needs assistance from wherever possible. A consolidated list of Jiva's immediate development needs is available on the Jiva website [see link above]. There are a number of ways in which interested persons can participate in Jiva's activities and help boost its achievement:

  • Become a sponsor
  • Help build our building
  • Become an ICOT member
  • Volunteer to work for Jiva
  • Respond to ICOT Questionnaire
  • Spread the word about Jiva's efforts

Jiva is dedicated to the cause of a brighter future through education for everyone, and invites your input to the challenge of restructuring India's education system, and through it, to precipitate social reform in the country.

Vijay Raina
May 2001

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