Beyond the syllabus

I am studying around 100 words every day on a wonderful website While I was doing this, an obvious idea struck me. Why were we not equipped with a good vocabulary in our school. It is not just vocabulary. There are so many basic things just like vocabulary that we start chasing at not so apt age just to write some competitive exam. Weren’t these supposed to be implicit in our school study.

A good vocabulary is a prerequisite to forming meaningful sentences and meaningful sentences to form paragraphs and paragraphs to form a coherent article or book or thesis. When I tried to look at why we were not equipped with such a vocabulary or basics, the only answer that I could find is ‘Syllabus’. Our schools focus a lot on syllabus prescribed by some authority. Of course, this is needed to have an uniform evaluation across geographies. Examinations conducted by such authority to an extent act a measuring rod for future career opportunities too.

What is not right is an overemphasis on syllabus at the expense of such basic tools like a good vocabulary. School administrators need to understand that a good vocabulary in turn allows students to understand the syllabus well and also write better answers. I am just using one example of vocabulary but there could be many things like reading books, newspapers, math shortcuts, etc which can be a routine part of the school activities. It is high time that we go ‘beyond’ the syllabus.

There are around 240 school days in a year and 5 words per day can equip a student with 1200 words in a year. I do not want to be an armchair scholar just harping on these things. So, I have gone ahead and started implementing this vocabulary activity in the school ( of which I am a director. Education is my life-mission and I would like to contribute something substantial to the way we educate during this life time.

About guptasudhir

Let us revolutionize education in India !
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3 Responses to Beyond the syllabus

  1. Mr Benjamin Hamilton says:

    Hello Sudhir. I’m interested in your location, because education expectations and standards are extremely different worldwide.

    I would argue that schools in the UK do attempt to expand vocabulary. But the onus extends to the individual too. For example, an English teacher could plan a sequence of lessons exploring synonyms, but unless an individual is motivated to read books, write or debate, the knowledge will be lost or undeveloped.


    • guptasudhir says:

      I agree with you Mr. Benjamin. Individual determination is a must and that will also decide the success of the efforts put by school. I just took that as a given. Opportunity to learn must exist in the first place. How well the students and the parents make use of those opportunities will definitely vary.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mr Benjamin Hamilton says:

        I understand your viewpoint. Sadly, determination to succeed shouldn’t be taken for a given in schools in England.


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