After the omission of certain topics, including secularism and citizenship, in the political science syllabus for CBSE class 11 for next year’s exams, Union Minister of Human Resource Development (HRD) Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said it is “sensationalism by connecting topics selectively to portray a false narrative”. He did not deny the omission of these topics, however, and added that these are not the only topics to be cut for next year’s exams.
“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 wrote in a series of tweets. Sharing a list of topics being excluded from across subjects he wrote, “It can be no one’s argument that these topics have also been excluded by malice or some grand design which only partisan minds can decipher”.
Giving an example of other topics being excluded, he listed that, Measures of Dispersion, Balance of Payments Deficit, Heat Engine and Refrigerator, Heat Transfer, Convection & Radiation, Properties of Determinants, Consistency, Inconsistency, and Number of Solutions of System of Linear Equations by Examples and Binomial Probability Distribution were also among the excluded topics.
He reiterated CBSE’s statement that schools have been asked to teach these topics by following the alternative academic calendar, however, these topics will not make it to the board exams.
“The only aim is to relax the stress on students by reducing the syllabus by 30%. This exercise has been carried out following the advice & recommendations of various experts and considering the suggestions received from educationists through our #SyllabusForStudents2020 campaign,” the minister wrote.
“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 added.
The syllabus reduction was first advised by the Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia. However, after the cut in the syllabus, Sisodia in a written statement said he had “reservations and concern over the manner and content of the syllabus reduction exercise.” He said that there was no transparency on how the “governing body of CBSE arrived at the decision to remove or include any particular topic or chapter”. He said the details lack the reason as to “why that particular topic or chapter has been left out”.
“Social science is one discipline where there is the maximum scope of controversy and I agree that no matter which topics are chosen or left out, questions are bound to be raised. Hence the board should have been careful and explained its rationale for dropping certain topics,” the statement read.
“Topics of social science which are dropped are so relevant in a contemporary context that it is important that children learn about it through authentic source rather than ‘Whatsapp University’,” the statement added.
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