Maharashtra cancels easy math, makes school periods longer by 5 to 10 minutes | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Maharashtra cancels easy math, makes school periods longer by 5 to 10 minutes

Earlier each period would last for 30 minutes. Now, the first period will be of 40 minutes, while the rest will be of 35 minutes.

mumbai Updated: Apr 28, 2017 23:56 IST
Puja Pednekar
Maharashtra
Although schools are in favour of scrapping the subject, but they demanded alternatives be provided for weak students. (HT file photo)

The school education department announced major changes in the syllabus for Class 1 to 10 from the coming academic year 2017-18.

For Class 9, the Maharashtra state board has scrapped general or easy mathematics which that was offered as an option for students weak in math. According to two circulars issued on Thursday and Friday, it also made major changes to the timetable, extending school periods by five to ten minutes each.

Easy math was introduced by the Maharashtra state board in 2008 to improve pass rate. The department, however, found that the subject had a few takers. Of the 17 lakh students appearing for the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exam every year, only 1.15 lakh students took up easy math.

Although schools are in favour of scrapping the subject, but they demanded alternatives be provided for weak students. “Students with learning disabilities were taking up easy math as they found regular math difficult. What option will they have now?” asked Suresh Nair, principal of Vivek Vidyalaya in Goregaon.

A new timetable will be applicable for Classes 1 to 10 from the new session. The first period will be of 40 minutes, while the rest will be of 35 minutes. The board allocated 10 minutes in the morning for the school assembly. Earlier, all the periods lasted for 30 minutes each.

Schools, however, said that the new timetable would not affect them much as the department has reduced the number of periods from 50 to 45 a week. “Even if periods get longer, the number of school hours will remain unchanged,” said Uday Nare, a teacher in Hansraj Morarji Public School, Andheri.

But school authorities are upset that the changes were announced just a day before the last working day for the teachers in this academic year. “We had already prepared timetables for the next year,” said Albin Anthony, principal of Sacred Heart Boys School in Santacruz. “Our summer vacation officially begins from Saturday and this last minute announcement is a setback. We will have to work a few more days and rework the timetable,” he added.

Details on other subjects

Graded subjects have also been revamped for Class 9. Subjects like work experience, social work, personality development have been replaced with ‘self-development and art appreciation’ subject. Defence-studies has been added as a certificate course along with existing courses such as National Cadet Corps, Scout and Guide, etc.

Vocational courses

Schools approved by the RMSA can offer 10 vocational subjects-retail merchandising, automobile service technician, beauty and wellness among others- under the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) from 2017-18 for class 9 and from 2018-19 for class 10. Students opting for them can drop second or third language or social studies