Biologists urge CBSE to reconsider deletion of chapters on evolution and ecologyUpdated: Jul 10, 2020 01:00 IST
Two days after the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) announced its decision to reduce 30% of its curriculum due to disruption in academic activities owing to Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian Society of Evolutionary Biologists (ISEB) on Thursday released a statement expressing concern that chapters on evolution and ecology from biology curricula for Classes 10 to 12 was dropped for the academic year 2020-21.
Members of ISEB, which is based out of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research-Mohali, said detailed knowledge in diverse areas of ecology and evolution — species interactions, population dynamics, transmission dynamics of pathogens — is required to understand every aspect of a zoonotic pandemic including the Covid-19 outbreak that the world is currently facing.
“Public health in general leans very heavily on many aspects of evolution and ecology, including human ecology, in addition to classical medical science,” reads the statement by ISEB executive council.
As part of the reduction, entire chapters on the living world (systematics), reproduction in organisms, evolution, ecosystem, and environmental issues from the biology syllabus will be removed.
“This pandemic has tragically highlighted the consequences of our neglect of evolution and ecology in school and higher education in India…A direct consequence of our neglect of ecology and evolution is the relative paucity of epidemiologists in India. This renders the removal of most of evolution and ecology, including systematics and the diversity of life not only dangerously tragic, but ironic as well,” reads the statement.
ISEB has appealed to the board to reconsider the deletion of entire chapters on ecology and evolution, and instead “trim advanced sub-topics from most chapters across the curriculum”