NCERT not in favour to reduce syllabus by 50 per cent | CBSE Guide NCERT Solutions


NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training) is expected to reduce the school social science syllabuses by up to 20 per cent but keep any cuts to the minimum in mathematics, the sciences and language subjects.

NCERT said that it is no way involved in revising the school textbooks following a government nudge early this year, would follow the Centre's recommendation to reduce the syllabuses by 50 per cent across the board.

While the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) follows the NCERT textbooks, 23 state school boards have adapted these, with minimal changes to some of the books. The revised books will be prescribed from the coming academic session.

Human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar had at an event on Wednesday said: "In order to provide enough time to students to develop their talents, the syllabus is proposed to be reduced by half." But NCERT officials said they had decided to limit the syllabus cuts on the basis of the more than one lakh comments they had received after seeking feedback from the stakeholders.

Like the government, the parents mostly wanted the syllabus and the NCERT textbooks reduced by around half, but the teachers largely supported the present content load. Some teachers even demanded additional content, council sources said.

"We have to ensure that Indian students do not lag behind in rigor. They should be able to compete at the international level," an official involved in the revision said. He added that the council also needed to ensure that the increase in content from one class to the next resembled a smooth progression rather than a sharp jump, which might happen if the curriculum was drastically reduced in the lower classes.

Council officials therefore found the target of a 50 per cent reduction of syllabus impractical, he said. They felt that physics and chemistry, particularly in Classes 9 to 10, allowed hardly any scope to reduce the syllabus while in mathematics, the extra examples and illustrations could be done away with.

History, political science and economics did lend themselves to somewhat higher cuts, the officials decided. The council has already prepared "expected learning outcome" norms for every class, and felt the syllabus revision must adhere to these.

"The NCERT will not go by the wishes of the parents. As a top academic body, its focus is on the students learning (their subjects)," the official said. The ministry had asked NCERT to reduce the syllabus on the basis of feedback it had received at six conferences, attended mostly by education officials from the states, it had held last year.

"Students are bogged down so much in studies right from the eighth standard onwards that they have no time to spare for manifesting and nurturing their talents," Javadekar had said on Wednesday.

NCERT had last revised all syllabuses in 2005 and its textbooks in 2006-07. According to the best international practices, school syllabuses and textbooks should be revised every five years.

Just before the NDA government came to power in May 2014, NCERT had started the process of reviewing its curricula and books by setting up 21 focus groups. But the new government asked it to put off the revision on the ground that the process for drafting a new education policy had started. The policy has not been finalized yet..
(Source: The Telegraph, edited)

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