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Reduction in NCERT syllabus leaves student-teacher community divided on the issue

Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD), Prakash Javadekar, announced that the HRD Ministry will reduce the syllabus of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) textbooks, in the next two to three years.

Giving more details Javadekar said that the idea of quality education emerged from six workshops and high level meetings with state education officials. NGOs, education experts, headmasters, state government officers and many teachers took part in these meetings.

The HRD Minister said that plenty of information is not education and students are not just a data bank. The aim of education is to bring out a good human and inculcate experiential learning, life skills, value education and physical fitness. According to Javadekar, the idea to reduce the syllabus will help students learn basic principles of the subject, how to interpret it and an overall analysis leading to personality development of the student.
Factors leading to such a decision are not limited to providing quality education to the students, lack of competent teachers, poor allocation of funds, medium of communication, multigrade and multilevel classes, but also the ongoing exam stress that leads to increase in cases of suicide among the students. According to the latest data provided by NCBR, every hour, a student commits suicide in India. The book 'exam warrior' written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also acknowledges increasing stress due to the exams.
Ayush Pandey, a class 12th student appearing for his final exams said that" the sudden reduction in the syllabus will definitely reduce stress but somewhere or other the entire syllabus is useful unless you change your stream. And the results of such reduction is uncertain".
Though, a few are not in favor of reducing the syllabus.
Rajesh Singh, faculty member of The Arjuna Academy (coaching center in Munirka) said "As far as the syllabus is concerned, it is being completed by the time of Pre-board exams are held in either December or January. It is not only due to the syllabus that students are coming to coaching center but also because of the lack of effective teachers in schools. The government should improve the number as well as standard of teachers instead of reducing the syllabus".
Anubhuti Yadav, Associate Professor at IIMC, said "I personally feel that the reduction is going to be very challenging when it comes to implementing it. It should be a part of National Policy on Education. So, it has to start from that level then it has to be translated into National Curriculum framework and then all the educators, when they work on the textbooks, they have to take this thing into account".
In 2005 when National Curriculum was formulated, it was mainly started by the recommendations of Yashpal Committee and the whole idea was that learning should be without the burden and that's how the entire curriculum was being developed but when the things were translated into textbooks, it was realized that the curriculum is still overloaded. Students have to spend a lot of time as far as academics are concerned. They don't have time for extra co-curriculum activities.

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