A reduction in syllabus by 30% for secondary and senior secondary students, continuous evaluation, and moving away from syllabus for primary and elementary students were among suggestions made by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to the HRD minister on the reopening of schools.
Sisodia wrote a letter to HRD minster Ramesh Pokhriyal on Friday, encouraging the reopening of schools with “reasonable guidelines”, along with suggestions on how it can be done.
Arguing against the reasoning that older children should return to schools first, Sisodia quoted an ICMR study which says that the attack rate (people affected per lakh population) is lowest among children aged 0-4. He said the school is an especially important place for younger children to “learn to live with corona”.
“We need to assure every child, irrespective of age and social class, that they are important to us and all of them have equal right to the physical and academic space of their schools. We need to completely push aside views that leaning will only be carried forward through online classes or that education can go forward by only calling older children to schools and keeping younger children at home for now…We must take care that our next step does not give primacy to older children over younger children,” he wrote.
He stressed on the need to transcend the focus from completing syllabi for students up to elementary classes and instead focus on “fluency in reading with understanding and oral expression, writing different genres of text, number sense, emotional resilience, internalisation of healthy and hygienic practice.”
For secondary and senior secondary students, he asked that the syllabus be reduced by 30% across all subjects to focus on “depth in learning and understanding”. He also suggested exam reforms for the CBSE and NCERT, suggesting doing away with one high stakes annual examination for class X and XII students, and working towards replacing it with continuous evaluation.
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