1. Unprecedented expansion of secondary education in each country.
2. A trend towards comprehensive co-ordination between primary and secondary education, and
3. Integration of cultural and vocational elements in the curriculum.
Onwards we shall understand the nature of these basic trends:-
1. Unprecedented expansion of secondary education:
It is true that population explosion is a cause of expansion of secondary education, but this phenomenon alone should not be attributed to this explosion. Another cause of this expansion has been the wide expansion of primary education after the Second World War.
A chain of primary schools spreading all over in each country has necessitated the expansion of secondary education. Hence almost in all the countries enrollment of students in secondary schools has increased beyond control and parents are hard hit to get their wards admitted to secondary schools of their choice.
2. Towards Comprehensive Co-ordination between Primary and Secondary Education:
This trend is a result of huge expansion of secondary education. Upto the nineteenth century it was generally thought that primary education was complete in itself as it was meant for those children under tender age who had compulsionarily to take up some job after completing it.
Secondary education, too, was considered to be complete in it and it was principally meant for those who wanted to continue these studies in universities or other centres of higher education. Then seeking admission to a secondary school after graduating from a primary school was beset with many difficulties.
From the advent of twentieth century the belief in people gradually developed that education is a continuous process and it is wrong to divide it into primary and secondary education. It is just possible that some children, due to their social and mental limitations, differ from each other.
But this feature does not warrant prescribing different levels of education. Therefore now primary and secondary educations are considered as steps of one continuous process of education.
In most of the countries, to-day, the period of compulsory universal education is being increased in order that all the children may go upto the first phase of secondary education and see for themselves whether they can benefit from onward education.
Besides, in several countries, secondary education has been made free. Children from poor sections of society are provided with books and free boarding and lodging. In many areas, transport facilities are also made available for school children.
A tendency is also found for increasing the age-limit for choosing some vocation. Due to this tendency vocational courses have been instituted in secondary school curriculum in many countries.
Simultaneously, a trend is also seen to accept common courses of studies even at the junior secondary school stage. In some countries, efforts are also on to develop schools with comprehensive curricular varieties in order to enable children of all sections of society to get admission. In such comprehensive schools, guidance and counseling services have been organised for helping children to choose suitable courses of studies.
3. Integration of Cultural and Vocational Elements in the Curriculum:
Along with the previously mentioned trends in secondary education, the traditional literary curriculum has been expanded by incorporating in it modern literary studies, modern sciences, commerce and some other technical subjects. Needless to add that introduction of such subjects in the curriculum has been done because of the unavoidable pressure of industrialisation.
However, reformers of education have realised that at the secondary level, the major emphasis should also be on providing sufficient general education in order that the youths may develop in themselves the requisite capabilities for acquiring technical efficiencies through later training.