Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Comeback of Housekeeping Studies in Primary Schools

By Jelena Jovanovic

Belgrade, Aug. 12 2009 (Serbia Today) - Housekeeping Studies is the new subject on the list of elective subjects in the seventh grade program in Serbian Primary schools. The system of Primary schools in Serbia is from 1st to 8th grade, after which kids take four years of the secondary schools, which could be High School or trade schools.
This September, children will be able to choose one of seven elective subjects- Everyday life in the past, Painting, drawing and sculpturing, Chorus and orchestra, Mother-tounge with the elements of the national culture, Informatics and Computer Sciences, Chess and, from this year Housekeeping Studies.
Housekeeping Studies was regular subject in Primary Schools in Serbia until the end of 90th. It was removed, together with the First Aid, and the reason was disburdening of the teaching program and making a free space for new programs and activities, more up to date.
Today, the reason of bringing back the Housekeeping Studies into Primary Schools is new school democratization- giving the children wider choice of subjects and ability to learn things they might be interested in. Elective subjects are also ability for developing (and discovering) certain skills and crafts.
Gordana Mitrović, Councilor in the Center for improving and developing of the Education, explained that the reform of primary education in Serbia started 6 years ago. The first sixth grades have already been reformed and the new program for the seventh grade will start in the approaching school year. The reform will be completed next year with an introduction of the new program for the eight grade, and probably, new system of qualification exams for the Secondary Schools.
The part of this big reform is the selection of elective subjects that pupils can choose according to their own wishes and affinities. Every school has an obligation to offer, at least, 4 elective subjects ( the number of subjects that one school can offer depends on teaching stuff and school equipment).
Housekeeping Studies, new on this list, have program which consists of four thematic parts- contemporary household and family, culture of living, clothing culture, culture of behavior. Children will have lessons once per week and be able to learn not just how to cook, but how to maintain a home, use various technical household appliances, be eco friendly... They will also learn about relations, needs and obligations in one family and living culture will include lessons about comfortable living, practical details, interior decorating... Interesting part of the program might be clothing culture and lessons about various fabrics, colors, clothes for different occasions... New thematic part of the program of Housekeeping Studies includes lessons about family budget and financial organization, about planning holidays and journeys, using modern communication means...
“We wanted to enable children that, through this subject, form certain behavior culture and habits, integrate their knowledge, make stronger connection with their families. The essence of this subject is getting the practical knowledge about housekeeping and life in the family. – added Gordana Mitrović.
The textbook for the Housekeeping Studies subject will be the old one, already used in Primary Schools.
Mirjana Đorđevic from the Belgrade Institute for Textbooks and Teaching resources explained that using this old textbook ( with one added part- part about home budget) was temporary solution. The new book, with new design and more practical exercises, will be prepared and issued by the next school year.
“ I think that Housekeeping Studies is necessary school subject. ( Maybe some parts of it could have been incorporated in other subjects). I think that Housekeeping Studies could be very useful for children and their future lives –learning about living, about clothes, colors, learning about home budget and financial organization...
Mirjana Djordjevic also told that her opinion was that the subject Housekeeping Studies might change its name, in order to sound more contemporary and more attractive (especially for boys).
Ana Manojlovic who will be in the seventh grade this September , in Primary School Josif Pančić in Belgrade, told that the majority of elective subjects seemed interesting. – “I will not choose Housekeeping Studies . I’ll choose Informatics and Computer Sciences.
Her mother, Nada Manojlović, thinks all elective subjects, including the new one, Housekeeping Studies might be interesting and useful.“Everything depends on teachers and their knowledge and approach and ability to make lectures interesting. Very important thing is that these elective subjects are not marked and are not the part of the final score, at the end of school year.

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