TED NewsDesk, New Delhi: In one of the measures taken to ease the students’ learning burden, Assam joins the list of states who cut down the syllabus in their school curriculum. The Government of Assam has decided to remove topics such as Gujarat riots, policies of the first Prime Minister Nehru, earlier governments of NDA and UPA among others. There are cuts in all Science, Humanities as well as Commerce.
“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. This syllabi is only the reduced portion for the preparation of upcoming final exams of Higher Secondary 1st and 2nd year to be held in 2021,”, said the Secretary of the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council (AHSEC), Manoranjan Kakati in a recent communique.
Mr Kakati added that the cuts were after consulting the subject professionals from different educational institutions across the state. In Political Science, topics like Nehru’s idea on forming of the nation, his foreign policy, his political descendants, the slogan of ‘Gareebi Hatao’ and the Mandal Commission are no longer in the syllabus.
Apart from these, the general elections of the years 1951-52, 1957 and 1962 have also been removed, along with Punjab Crisis and the 1984 anti-Sikh Riots, United Front governments, famine, discarding five- year plans, India and the cold war, other post-communist countries, politics of disarmament, the ascent of China as an economic giant in the post-Maoist period, conflicts and peace movements in South Asia, problems with globalisation and anti-globalisation.
In the subject of sociology, lessons on women’s fight against unequal treatment, discrimination against the marginal communities, nation-building, Panchayati raj, land reforms, tribal movements, westernisation and secularisation, caste, family, community and colonialism are absent.
In History, the government will delete topics like the Mughal court, Jesuits in the Mughal Court, peasants, zamindars and the state, difference and conflict, religious ferment in North India, and reconstructing histories of spiritual traditions from the syllabus.
Topics of liberalisation, privatisation, globalisation and industrial development in India, the composition of the working population, indicators of a healthy life and social empowerment, community, environment and development will be removed in Geography. Similarly, measures of the government deficit, foreign exchange rate and determination of exchange rate in a free market will be removed from Economics. From Banking, topics such as the progress of nationalisation of banks and lead bank scheme will be removed, as per the communique.
Swadesh Adhyayan, a subject that was included in the syllabus in 2018 would see the omission of changes in religious and linguistic demography, a population explosion of Assam and the foreigners’ issue.
Mr Kakati said,
“After getting the approval of the Academic Committee, teachers from Arts, Science and Commerce institutions of Assam, including Barak Valley, are requested to submit their expertise knowledge where to curtail the courses. Finally, the selective experts of all the subjects from various reputed institutions were invited physically to finalise the reduced syllabus at AHSEC office,”
The decision to remove part of the syllabus aims to curtail the burden of the students who are already facing the brunt of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The topics that are omitted are significant for well-rounded mental growth and the development of critical faculties of a student. It seems that the government is solely focusing on the examinations- making it easier for the students- in the process stripping them of holistic education which is irreplaceable and crucial.