Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday expressed reservations over the content of the syllabus reduced by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and emphasised on the need for children to learn them from authentic sources rather than from “WhatsApp University”.
The Central Board of Secondary Education has reduced up to 30 per cent of the syllabus for the 2020-21 academic session for classes 9 to 12 in a bid to decrease the course load for students during the pandemic.
The education board, however, faced criticism for its decision to drop key chapters like Democratic Rights, Federalism, Citizenship and Secularism from school courses.
Sisodia said that the education board did not give any reason as to why particular topics or chapters were removed, nor did it explain the process by which the course committee, curriculum committee or its governing body arrived at the decision to remove or include them.
The Education Minister sought to know why chapters on understanding the Partition, democratic rights, food security, gender, religion and caste, popular struggles and movement, federalism, citizenship, nationalism and secularism, social movements and regional aspirations, mass media and communication were removed from the social science syllabus.
“Social Science is one discipline where there is maximum scope of controversy and agree that no matter which topics are chosen or left out, the questions are bound to be raised. Hence the board should have been careful and explained its rationale for dropping certain topics,” he added.
The topics of social science which are dropped are so relevant in contemporary context that it is important that children learn about it through authentic sources rather than through “Whatsapp University”, he scoffed.
Alluding to other subjects, Sisodia asked why a topic on the human eye and the colourful world, sources of energy were removed. In English, a letter on a situation and descriptive paragraph on a place and event was removed.
“Similarly, in classes 11 and 12 different genres of writing like Article and report writing, letter to the editor, application for job, note making and summarising which are so critical for developing expression have been removed from English Core subject,” the Education Minister added.
In Mathematics, Sisodia asked why the principle of mathematical induction and mathematical reasoning was deleted. “I am hopeful that CBSE must have very good reasons for dropping those topics other than saying that “reduction in classroom teaching due to closure of schools” requires reduction and hence randomly some topics have been dropped.”