Education

Chapters on Citizenship, Secularism, Federalism Scrapped as CBSE Prunes Syllabus for COVID

Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal announced a 30% cut in syllabus in view of the academic backlog due to the pandemic.

New Delhi: The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has “rationalised” the syllabus for classes 9 to 12 for the academic year 2020-21 by up to 30% to make up for academic loss caused due to COVID-19, Union HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal announced on Tuesday.

“Looking at the extraordinary situation prevailing in the country and the world, CBSE was advised to revise the curriculum and reduce course load for the students of classes 9 to 12.

As a part of this rationalising, the CBSE has “completely deleted” the chapters on federalism, citizenship, nationalism, and secularism from Class 11’s political science curriculum for the academic year 2020-21, according to a report in the Indian Express.

Additionally, sub-sections like ‘Why do we need Local Governments?’ and ‘Growth of Local Government in India’ have also been dropped.

Also read: How the Kerala Model of Bringing Classrooms Home Works

“To aid the decision, a few weeks back I also invited suggestions from all educationists on the reduction of syllabus for students and I am glad to share that we received more than 1.5K suggestions. Thank you, everyone, for the overwhelming response,” Nishank tweeted.

“Considering the importance of learning achievement, it has been decided to rationalise syllabus up to 30% by retaining the core concepts,” he added.

“The heads of schools and teachers have been advised by the board to ensure that the topics that have been reduced are also explained to the students to the extent required to connect different topics. However, the reduced syllabus will not be part of the topics for internal assessment and year-end board examination.

“Alternative academic calendar and inputs from the NCERT on transacting the curriculum using different strategies shall also be part of the teaching pedagogy in the affiliated schools,” a senior official of the HRD ministry said.

For classes 1 to 8, the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) has already notified an alternative calendar and learning outcomes.

In a statement, CBSE said that the topics deleted would not be accessed in themselves and that teachers had been asked to explain the relevance of the topics to the students. “The Heads of Schools and Teachers may ensure that the topics that have been reduced are also explained to the students to the extent required to connect different topics. However, the reduced syllabus will not be part of the topics for internal assessment and year-end board examination,” the statement said.

The board had previously asked NCERT to suggest topics and themes which are “either repeated or overlapped or learning outcomes related to it are being covered under other chapters” when it was looking to reduce the syllabus.

Universities and schools across the country have been closed since March 16 when the central government announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as one of the measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

A nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24, which came into effect the next day. While the government has eased several restrictions, schools and colleges continue to remain closed.

(With inputs from PTI)