Published: 09th July 2020
Leave politics out of education and make our politics more educated: Ramesh Pokhriyal on criticism over CBSE's syllabus reduction
The HRD minister added that the only aim is to relax the stress on students by reducing the syllabus by 30 per cent and reiterated that it was only a one-time thing
Following severe criticism against the Central Board of Secondary Education's move to cut down chapters dealing with subjects like secularism, citizenship, nationalism, demonetisation and democratic rights as a part of rationalising up to 30 per cent of the curriculum, Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said on Thursday, "There has been a lot of uninformed commentary on the exclusion of some topics from the CBSE Syllabus. The problem with these comments is that they resort to sensationalism by connecting topics selectively to portray a false narrative."
The minister added that the only aim is to relax the stress on students by reducing the syllabus by 30 per cent. "This exercise has been carried out following the advice & recommendations of various experts and considering the suggestions received from educationists through our #SyllabusForStudents2020 campaign," he wrote on his official Twitter handle.
The CBSE had notified the new syllabus for classes 9 to 12 for the 2020-21 academic session on Wednesday after rationalising up to 30 per cent of the curriculum. 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. For Class 11, the deleted portions include the chapters on federalism, citizenship, nationalism, secularism and growth of local governments in India. Similarly, 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.
To this, Pokhriyal responded: "It is our humble request: Education is our sacred duty towards our children. Let us leave politics out of education and make our politics more educated." He also provided examples of other chapters that have been excluded from the syllabus in order to minimise the burden on students. "In Biology, portions of Mineral Nutrition, Digestion & Absorption have been excluded. It can be no one’s argument that these topics have also being excluded by malice or some grand design which only partisan minds can decipher. Similarly, some of the excluded topics in #Maths are Properties of Determinants, Consistency, Inconsistency, and Number of Solutions of System of Linear Equations by Examples and Binomial Probability Distribution," he wrote on Twitter.
The HRD Minister suggested that the critiques should look at subjects across the board and then form a narrative rather than blaming the board for excluding specific topics. "While it is easy to misconstrue exclusion of 3-4 topics like nationalism, local government, federalism, etc. and build a concocted narrative, a wider perusal of different subjects will show that this exclusion is happening across subjects," he added.
Pokhriyal also clarified citing the CBSE statement on Wednesday regarding the exclusion, saying, "As CBSE has clarified, schools have been advised to follow the NCERT Alternate Academic Calendar, and all the topics mentioned have been covered under the same Academic Calendar. The exclusions are merely a one-time measure for exams, due to the COVID-19 pandemic."