Familiarizing children with local art, culture, lifestyle through local curriculum

Published On: August 15, 2019 06:47 AM NPT By: Krishna Kisi

BHAKTAPUR, Aug 15: A seventh-grader at Genuine Secondary School of Bhaktapur, Nar Kawa, had never ever heard about 'Kasipaya'. But now, he not only knows about Kasipaya's history but also plays it pretty well.  

Kasipaya is a popular traditional game of Bhaktapur now almost forgotten by the new generation. 
After Bhaktapur Municipality implemented a local curriculum, children are getting reconnected to the old lifestyles, arts and cultures of their city. The municipality imposed the local curriculum in both public and private schools from the last academic session. 

According to former principal of Genuine Secondary School, Bishwa Bahadur Duwal, the local curriculum has brought children closer to their own society. It has made them able to understand their roots. 

"Though children these days learn about the entire world, they remain unknown about their own background, but this local curriculum has helped fill the gap," he noted. 

Bhaktapur is the first municipality to prepare such an original curriculum and implement at schools. The curriculum reflects the identity and aura of Bhaktapur, according to Duwal. 

There are five different subjects in the local curriculum – Identity of Bhaktapur: Art, Culture and Heritage, History of Bhaktapur: Local Skills and Technologies and Local Tourism and Sports. And it has been implemented at 92 schools that include all community and private schools in the municipality. 

Coordinator of Local Curriculum Development Task Force Yogendra Man Bijukchhe stated that the curriculum is not only focused on the local culture, traditions, lifestyles and festivals, but also on Bhaktapur's geography, census and economy. "This will help children know their place and themselves better," he remarked. 

Rajendra Shrestha, secretary of the task force, informed Republica that though the curriculum is being used by schools, it is yet to come in the form of a book. "The schools are following the curriculum but we are yet to publish books and provide them to students. The work is underway," he said. 

Local Government Operation Act 2074 allows the local units to prepare their own school curriculum and implement it in their areas. As per the act, such curriculum can be imposed on students from the basic level to the eighth grade.
The task force had massively consulted with the stakeholders before preparing the final design of the curriculum.

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