Now, Class 9 and 11 students of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will be tested on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The CBSE has included the topic along with India's Mars mission (MOM) in the Open Text Based Assessment (OTBA) to be conducted next year.
The OTBA is a new form of Test introduced in 2013 where students are tested on a subject or issue announced prior to the examinations. The Tests, which are of 30 to 50 marks, will be held on June 23 next year across all CBSE-affiliated schools. The marks scored in these Tests will be added to the final score of the students.
Modules based on the Centre's Swachh Bharat campaign have been included in the text material for the OTBA in at least three out of five subjects for Class 9 and in one out of two subjects for Class 11. Teachers have also been asked to teach the text and include them in the formative assessments, which monitor the students' progress throughout the year.
The text released by the board is heavy on propaganda, say principals expressing their concern. "The Prime Minister has called for a change in governance and attitude towards hygiene and sanitation. The pursuit of cleanliness could be an economic activity, contributing to GDP growth, a reduction in healthcare costs, and a source of employment," read the material recently released by the board.
"In OTBA, questions are asked from the text supplied by the board so we have to rely only on it," said a principal from a CBSE school in Kharghar. "But this could mean teaching of government propaganda to students."
Earlier the board had also started a series on the campaign asking students to come up with slogans, essays, pictures related to the campaign. "Everything organised by the board in the last few months has been about the cleanliness campaign," said Deepshikha Srivastava, principal, Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri. "And now the campaign has entered in the tests as well."
How Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan has been included in the OTBA:
For Class 9 students:
* In English: 'The cleaning up campaign sweeps across the country' is a unit that talks about how the campaign has spread.
* In Science: 'Clean India we mean it' discusses why the campaign is needed
* In Education: Personal hygiene and safety is included under the unit-Health.
For Class 11
* In Biology: Students have to write about environment sanitation