15 January 2002


From Jal Khambata

NEW DELHI: For millions of primary school-going children across the country, lugging textbooks to school will be a happier experience in the new school year. Gone will be the tedious, text-heavy tomes of old, to be replaced by lighter, student-friendly schoolbooks replete with stories and cartoon characters that promise to make learning a fun experience.

The new textbooks were unveiled here on Tuesday by the Faridabad-based NGO Jiva Institute on the occasion of the first anniversary of its path breaking Indiaís Curriculum of Tomorrow (ICOT).

Jivaís IT Curriculum has already been successfully adopted by many schools under both CBSE and ICSE boards over the past four years. Now, ICOT has been introduced to bring about a change in the existing pattern of academic education and promote the concept of constructive learning, starting right from the primary education level.

The new ICOT textbooks are for Classes I to V and are based on the recommendations of NCERT. They cover five subjects - English, Social Studies, Science, Maths and Computers.

The big difference in the new textbooks is that they seek to impart practical education instead of mere bookish learning. Thus all textbooks, no matter what the subject, incorporate themes such as learning to learn, character building, environmental protection, kid-friendly economics and practical science, says Dr. Steven Rudolph, the American Educational Director of the Institute working with it for almost past one decade to evolve new education system in India.

A distinct feature in these books is the incorporation of Jivaís online web pages. Every topic has an alphanumeric code called Edulinks, which gives access to a free bank of digital resources of ICOT. Hence all that a student needs to do, is to enter the edulink on JivaWorld website and access pictures, movies, and animations on the topic.

Unveiling the books, Sri S. N. Vittal, Chief Vigilance Commissioner, said they would make learning enjoyable and fun and no more unpleasant chore as felt by many young children.

Dr. Steven Rudolph said: "ICOTís core philosophy is to focus on Constructive Learning and provide a holistic approach to education and these text books score over traditional books currently being used by students. A good number of schools have already implemented the ICOT curriculum and have shown a significant improvement in results."

ICOT is a complete curriculum solution developed by the Jiva Institute after seven years of research on the Indian curriculum as well as those around the world. It is a comprehensive solution for all subjects across all classes, emphasizing on creativity, and where students are exposed to values and ethics, multiple intelligence & IT skills. The basic focus is to transform the teacher centric instructive classrooms to higher order learning centres.

"Technology and Environment are integral and central to ICOTís success as a revolutionary new curriculum", says Jiva Institute President Rishi Chauhan. "We are looking at an educational scenario wherein students learn at their own pace, while at the same time, gain exposure to practical situations to find solutions and, furthermore, to develop their natural skills," Chauhan added. END