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This is how govt plans to trim Class 10, 12 syllabus to ease lockdown blow for students

Modi govt is looking to reduce the syllabus for academic session 2020-21 because the Covid-19 lockdown has eaten into the school year.

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New Delhi: The proposed syllabus cuts for Class 10 and 12 students, to make up for missed classes due to the Covid-19 lockdown, will not result in the deletion of entire chapters, ThePrint has learnt.

Instead, the experts tasked with the exercise have been asked to trim the syllabus by eliminating repetitions in themes and topics, government documents suggest. 

The Modi government is looking to reduce the syllabus for academic session 2020-21 because the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent social-distancing guidelines have eaten into the school calendar.

Although schools across India offered online lessons to make up for the lost time, many students were not able to access them, which led the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development to settle for syllabus cuts instead.

Classes 10 and 12 have been prioritised in this “syllabus rationalisation” exercise because they culminate in board exams, whose results help guide a student’s subsequent academic path.

“We have started with the classes that will go for board exams next year, at a later stage, syllabus for other classes will also be rationalised,” an official from the HRD Ministry said.

Also Read: Schools could resume with 30% students ‘at a time’ after lockdown, HRD minister hints

No repetitions 

Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ had, earlier this month, asked the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to work on the rationalisation of syllabus.

According to internal communications accessed by ThePrint, the experts handling this exercise have been asked to keep learning outcomes in mind while making their decisions.

Rather than recommending removing entire chapters, they have been told, they should reduce topics/themes or content that is “either repeated or overlapped” or if the “learning outcomes related to it are covered under other chapters”, the documents suggest.

Themes and topics are portions under a larger head in a chapter. For example, there is a chapter about ‘Acids, Bases and Salts’ in the Class 10 science book. One of the topics in the chapter talks about the “Reaction of Metal with Acids and Salts”, which has also been dealt with in another chapter called ‘Metals and Non-metals’.

Similarly, in the Class 12 biology book, there is a chapter on ‘Principles of Inheritance and Variation’, which includes themes and topics such as ‘Mutation’ and ‘Genetic Disorders’. However, identical themes, like studying the genetic code and DNA, have also been covered in a chapter called ‘Molecular Basis of Inheritance’. 

Such repetitions, the documents suggest, will be the target of the rationalisation exercise.

A senior CBSE official confirmed as much. “We have been working along with the NCERT for syllabus rationalisation. According to our discussions, it has been decided that rather than reducing a complete chapter, themes will be reduced,” the official said.

In order to compensate for the reduced topics, the documents further reveal, the experts have been asked to “include an assignment or project” to plug any conceptual gaps.

The experts have also been asked to give explanations for why exactly they have suggested the removal of a given section. The reduced syllabus is supposed to be finalised by July, after approval from the authorities.

‘Retaining the core’

The rationalisation advice handed out to the experts is in line with a statement given by CBSE chairman Manoj Ahuja during a virtual conference organised by Ashoka University earlier this month. “We are rationalising the curriculum, we plan to retain the core,” he had said.

Earlier this month, the HRD minister also asked teachers and educationists to send in their advice for the syllabus rationalisation exercise via social media. 

He said a number of parents had been writing to the ministry to request syllabus reduction so that students are able to cope once the session starts.

Also Read: Over 70% parents want schools to reopen only after 21 days of zero Covid cases: Survey


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  1. Hello,

    We are students of class 12. We want to know class 12 new syllabus decleared by the Government.


  2. The state Government haven’t taken any actions regarding the portion of board exams and the schedule of exams and classes. Therefore we request you to clarify the syllabus portion


  3. How shall we study for our 10th.yet We don’t know our portion/syllabus pls let us now what’s our syllabus as early as possible because it’s very difficult especially for we students of i please 🙏request u to. Guide us with new syllabus.

  4. Hello,

    We are students of class 12. I want to know class 12 new syllabus decleare by Government.

    Harsh € Patel

  5. What is cbse doing in all these months they have failed to take the right decision for their students.
    Every other class does not matter much if they score it is not gonna ruin their life but what will it do to students like me… In 12th . Almost half year is gone and we are still suffering no decisions are made more class 12th students which is the most crucial year for us. We are stressed up about future and here they are reducing syllabus like this . And they it is really gonna help us . And you haven’t reduced any thing for PCM students. Don’t know how you people are so irresponsible about this.

    • You know what students from winter zone of J&K including Ladakh have Exams in October. Their Session starts from November 2019- October 2020. However due to some nonsensical curfews, the school started hardly for 2-3 weeks in March and was shutdown on 21 March 2019 and has been closed since and we are expected to give exams in October/November 2020.

  6. In political science classxii 20-21 new topics like a arab spring ,brics and other topics have been added in both the books. Surprisingly new books with new syllabus have not been prescribed. We are required to study old edition books where the new topics are not incorporated. We are not provided with any extensive study materials on these topics neither any sample questions.

  7. When will the new syllabus announced…….please tell me that as I think most of the students want to know that🙏😃

  8. What is meaning of reducing syallbus like this .I m in class 10 if board reduce syallbus like this then there no difference in whether reducing syallbus or not….for eg if in a book there is word grateful four times and one has to learn meaning of that word than a student will only read it once…whether it’s there 200 times in 200 ch or in 1 ch..time taken would be same..board needs to delete ch only like our environment in class 10 science or can remove mensuration ch from maths as there all we have to do is apply formula and that does not matter in class and stream chosen ahead as on can learn those anytime …

  9. plz tell when the new syllabus will be declared for 2021 . plzzzzz🙏🙏🙏🙏. there was an official declaration of new syllabus will be ahead by july, now july is gonna end . we guys are stressed up half year is gone and we dont know the syllabus till now .

    • Pls tell the when the new syllabus will be declared 2021, plzzzzz✍️✍️✍️✍️✍️

  10. The Problem starts with ICSE Board. They are not open minded and quite adamant about their ways of thinking and teaching which brings stress to students, teachers and parents. The education ministry needs to instruct ICSE Board Chairman to be transparent and take immediate action and publicise it.

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