While reiterating his stand on doing away with Class 10 board examinations in CBSE schools, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on Monday said school boards across the country must examine the possibility of a common curricula in mathematics and science.
He asked all boards to move on towards "having a core curriculum in mathematics and science in the next three years, so that we have a critical mass of people equally endowed to compete professionally."
"This will make possible a common exam in the country to enter the university system for professional courses for which maths and science are the fundamental subjects," Sibal said, addressing the Council of Boards of School Education (COBSE) here.
He asked the heads of the school boards from across the country assembled there to discuss the idea and expressed hope that they would come up with a road map. He also reminded the gathering that in order to ensure genuine equivalence for these subjects, the quality of teachers will also have to be ensured.
Sibal also emphasised that at the same time, the country needs diversity in the teaching of subjects such as geography, history, and environment which are specific to different regions. He said that preserving this diversity should be encouraged, as a result of which different students bring to the table unique experiences, making India a "melange of uniqueness".
He also pointed out that the current system of education is narrow with few choices for children. Skill development was needed with boards being able to give degrees in Music, Mechanics, Art etc, he added.
The minister reiterated the need for "de-stressing" the education system and attempts must be made to move to a grading system. The minister said if the CBSE schools till class XII, replace Class X boards with Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE), a paradigm shift will be seen in teaching.
He said that a move towards CCE may prove tough for teachers, but would be much simpler for students. However, he admitted a good CCE system would take time.
S.C. Khuntia, joint secretary in the ministry's School Education department, said six months of precious time of teaching in schools is lost due to the class X boards as all concentration is on preparing for them.