Lessons on Jawaharlal Nehru, the Mandal Commission report, the 2002 Gujarat riots and writings on caste and marginalisation have been dropped from the Class 12 state board syllabus in Assam as part of the 30% reduction in view of the pandemic.
A list of the sections of the syllabus which were dropped was uploaded on the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC) website recently. Officials said the sections were chosen after consultation with teachers and subject experts across the state.
In Political Science, the omitted sections under the title ‘Politics in India since Independence’ include: ‘First three general elections; Nehru’s approach to nation-building; Famine and suspension of five year plans; Nehru’s foreign policy; Political succession after Nehru; Politics of Garibi Hatao; Navnirman movement in Gujarat; Punjab crisis and the anti-Sikh riots of 1984; Implementation of Mandal Commission report; UF and NDA governments; Elections 2004 and UPA government; Ayodhya dispute; and Gujarat riots’.
Topics related to the Congress party and its history; issues of Kashmir; wars with China and Pakistan in 1962, 1965 and 1971; the Emergency; and the rise of the Janata Dal and BJP remain, among other topics.
The history syllabus for Class 12 now no longer includes the ‘Kinship, Caste and Class’ section. In English, a chapter titled ‘Memories of Childhood’ has been left out. In that, students studied parts of autobiographical writings of two women writers — Zitkala-sa, a great Native American writer and reformer, and Bama, a Tamil Dalit writer and teacher.
“It is well known to all that due to Pandemic Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) students of our state (have) already lost valued academic time. After the CBSE decided to reduce the volume of the course for class XI & XII, the AHSEC was seriously deliberating upon the issue,” wrote Manoranjan Kakati, Secretary of the AHSEC, in the official note attached to the reduced syllabus. “The main objective is to reduce the exam stress of the students of the session 2020-21, due to this pandemic situation and to prevent learning gaps.”
In July, the Council had sought the views of educationists and teachers. “Based on their feedback and valued suggestions, the Academic Committee of AHSEC in its meeting held on 19/08/2020 had decided to reduce 30% volume of the course contents,” Kakati wrote.
Kakati told The Indian Express, “The decisions were taken by experts and teachers. And not one expert or one teacher, but a wide range, from institutions across the state. If complaints come up, we will hold meetings again and decide further.”
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