A school curriculum subcommittee meeting on Monday has decided to accept partially the content rationalisation adopted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and implement it for higher secondary classes in the State.
In the case of Mathematics, Science subjects such as Physics and Chemistry, and some other subjects such as Geography, the content rationalisation will be adopted. However, no direction will be issued against teaching specific portions as half the academic year is over and nearly 60-70% of the syllabus would already have been covered in schools. So, while these portions can be taught, they will not be considered for the final evaluation. Students can read and learn the content on their own if they wish and teachers too can teach it.
Dropped by NCERT
However, in the case of Humanities subjects such as History and Political Science, portions such as Mughal Empire or the 2002 Gujarat riots will be taught and questions will be set from these for the final examinations. The portions on the Gujarat riots and the Mughal period had been dropped from the Class 12 textbooks by the NCERT as part of the syllabus rationalisation conducted for Classes 6 to 12 in the wake of COVID-19 and in tune with the National Education Policy. The council had cited overlap with similar content, irrelevant portions, or that which could be learned by self-learning or peer-learning for trimming the content.
With the NCERT decision drawing flak from many quarters, the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) had embarked on an exercise to determine if the portions dropped by the NCERT should be taught in the State.
In Kerala, the SCERT brings out its own textbooks for classes 6 to 10, but for Classes 11 and 12, NCERT textbooks are taught for History, Political Science, Economics, Geography, the Science subjects, and so on. Recently, Minister for General Education V. Sivankutty had said that a perusal of the excised portions gave rise to the suspicion that the decision had been prompted by certain vested interests, especially with regard to social science subjects. Constitutional values would be upheld while trimming the syllabus, he had declared.
In the Class 12 Political Science textbook, the NCERT had excluded pages on the topic ‘Gujarat Riots’ from a chapter titled ‘Recent developments in Indian politics’. A mention of the National Human Rights Commission report on the violence in Gujarat was dropped as also a ‘raj dharma’ remark by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The removed portion had photographs of newspaper reports on the violence.
Similarly, in the Class 12 history textbook, a full chapter on Mughal courts ‘Kings and Chronicles; the Mughal Courts’ had been axed by the NCERT.
The subcommittee meeting was attended by various directors in the Education department and representatives of teachers’ organisations who are part of the curriculum committee. The rationalised content will be uploaded on the SCERT website in a day or two.