CBSE’s decision to rationalise syllabus is welcome | HT Editorial
It was necessary, given the disruption in the educational systemUpdated: Jul 08, 2020 18:31 IST
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)’s decision, on Tuesday, to rationalise 30% of the syllabus for classes nine to 12 is welcome. Directed by the Union ministry of human resource development (HRD), this move is on account of the Covid-19-induced lockdown that forced schools to shut and shift classes online. The pandemic forced rigid educational institutions to adapt rapidly, to precarious circumstances. It pulled students out of schools for extended periods (schools will not open before July 31). It created a learning imbalance, as students have unequal access to online learning. CBSE’s move will lift a burden off the shoulders of students and teachers in the immediate term, allowing them to pay more attention on the quality of learning, rather than the quantum of course work. It will also ease the strain on teachers who have been scrambling to ensure course completion, exam schedules and virtual class attendance. Other boards must now follow suit and reduce the syllabus too.
However, CBSE has either entirely deleted chapters or removed some topics such as democratic rights, federalism, citizenship, gender, religion, nationalism, and secularism from the curriculum. These issues form the bedrock of democratic societies and students need to learn about these. To be sure, these deletions are a part of an overall reduction in the syllabus and to suggest that there is a political subtext to it would be a leap without full evidence. But, perhaps, a condensed version on critical themes can be formulated to ensure that students pick up the basics, without getting overburdened.