Seven months into academic year, students await trimmed syllabus
Although it has been seven months since the 2020-2021 academic year commenced, the State government is yet to approve the trimmed syllabus for classes one to 10. The delay is a cause for concern among teachers who are unsure of which lessons to skip this year.
The ambiguity has hit class 10 students the worst as they have to prepare for the board examination next year. Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar had announced earlier that the syllabus would be completed by December giving students ample time for prep work.
Although the Karnataka Textbook Society (KTBS) had published a pared down syllabus in July, roughly 30% of the portion had been cut, it was later withdrawn by the State government after protests over its decision to omit or trim chapters on Tipu Sultan, the Constitution, Jesus Christ, and Prophet Mohammed.
However, some schools are still following this syllabus. “We did not get any information that the trimmed syllabus was withdrawn and we continue to use that blueprint to teach our students,” said a principal of a private school in Bengaluru.
A senior official of the department said they had revised the trimmed syllabus after the controversy and were waiting for government approval before they could send it to schools.
Chirag S., a class 10 student, said he and his classmates were confused about which portions to study. “Although we read in the papers that 30% of the syllabus has been cut, our teachers are yet to tell us of the lessons to omit,” he said.
D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Associated Managements’ of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, said not only should the government release the revised syllabus without further delay, but should cut more than 30% of the syllabus. The association has written a memorandum to the department asking for an even more pared down syllabus for class 10 students.
“A significant number of class 10 students have not attended online classes. It will be very difficult for them to appear for the board examination,” he said. He also questioned how the government planned to implement the 75% attendance that SSLC students must have if they wanted to write the board examination.