As part of rationalising its syllabus in view of the Covid-19 situation, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) Tuesday “completely deleted” chapters on federalism, citizenship, nationalism, and secularism from the political science curriculum of Class 11 for the academic year 2020-21.
Apart from these, sub-sections including ‘Why do we need Local Governments?’ and ‘Growth of Local Government in India’ has also been removed from the curriculum. These topics will not be accessed in themselves but teachers have been asked to explain to the students of their relevance with respect to existing topics.
The deletions were made on the direction of the HRD ministry which asked the CBSE to reduce the syllabus for classes 9 to 12 by 30 per cent to make up for the academic loss caused by the pandemic and the subsequent closure of schools.
According to the updated curriculum, the chapters deleted from the Class 10 syllabus are those dealing with democracy and diversity, gender, religion and caste, popular struggles and movement and challenges to democracy.
Class 12 students will not be required to study the chapters on India’s relations with its neighbours — Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, the changing nature of India’s economic development, social movements in India and demonetisation, among others.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday hit out at Centre over the deletions. “We strongly object to this and appeal HRD Ministry, Government of India to ensure these vital lessons aren’t curtailed at any cost,” Banerjee said.
BSP MP Kunwar Danish Ali, on the other hand, took a dig at the Ministry of Human Resource Development, saying it wants education based on ‘WhatsApp university’ forwards.
Following criticism over the chapters deleted, the CBSE issued a clarification saying the reduction in syllabus announced is being interpreted “differently” and the move is only a one-time measure for the 2020-21 academic session.
In an official statement, the CBSE had earlier said, “The Heads of Schools and Teachers may ensure that the topics that have been reduced are also explained to the students to the extent required to connect different topics. However, the reduced syllabus will not be part of the topics for Internal Assessment and year-end Board Examination.”
Recently, the other central board – Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) – had announced to reduce their syllabus for class 10 and 12 by 25 per cent to “make up for the loss in instructional hours during the current session 2020-21”
As reported by The Indian Express earlier, rather than recommending the reduction of a full chapter, the Board asked NCERT to suggest topics and themes which are “either repeated or overlapped or learning outcomes related to it are being covered under other chapters”