On June 1, the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) explained why they decided to drop certain chapters permanently from Class 10 textbooks. Recently, NCERT has revised the science and social science syllabus.
The NCERT made this statement after they withdrew the periodic table from Class 10 textbooks and removed the chapters “Democracy and Diversity”, “Challenges to Democracy,” and “Popular Struggles and Movements” from the social science textbook “Democratic Politics, Book 2.”
In April, NCERT also removed chapters related to Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution from Class 9 and Class 10 science textbooks. The NCERT went on Twitter on June 1 and explained their decision to remove specific chapters. The idea of omitting the content came during the pandemic in 2021, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, students and teachers across the school stages were at home and managing teaching-learning using alternative modes”.
The objective was to lighten the burden on students and facilitate a smoother transition to online learning. About 30% of the syllabus for Classes 6 to 12 was removed as part of this process. The council tried to rationalise their decision by following certain criteria. According to the government agency, overlapping content would be dropped if similar content is taught in another subject area of the same class or “similar content included in the lower or higher class in the same subject” to avoid unnecessary repetition.
Similarly, irrelevant or outdated content will be removed, “…Content, which is not relevant in the present context or is outdated”. The council thought the content, which has a high difficulty level, should not be included in the syllabus and rather believes in adding “Content, which is easily accessible to children and does not require much intervention from the teachers and can be learnt through self-learning or peer-learning”.
In this rationalisation exercise, the decisions are taken while considering the learning outcomes already developed across the classes. Furthermore, the council said periodic table and evolution is covered in class 11 and 12 curriculum. They tweeted, “Regarding rationalisation of the concept of evolution: As far as the rationalisation of the content of evolution is concerned, the same has been dealt in appropriate details in classes 12 as stated above.”
About the periodic table’s rationalisation, “Discussion about basic concepts such as elements, symbols, formation of compounds, atoms and molecules have been dealt with in class 9. In class 10, chemical reactions; acids, bases & salts; metals & non-metals; carbon and its compounds have been covered. Students pursuing science in classes 11 and 12 will study the details of the Periodic Classification of elements (Periodic table)”.
The council reached this decision after consulting with various stakeholders in the education system, “A considered opinion emerged based on the feedback received from various stakeholders, including practising teachers, that children may not have to study same concepts at different stages and it needs to be done at appropriate stage”. Even the COVID pandemic played a vital role in this rationalisation process by making content more remote-learning friendly.
On June 2, NCERT also clarified the removal of certain portions related to social movements from the social science textbook ‘Democratic Politics‘ Book 2 of Class 10 and Class XII Politics in ‘India Since Independence’. According to the council, the removed chapters “… are more appropriate to be part of Sociology subject”. In addition, they tweeted, “Chapter one of Class X, Democratic Politics- II, already deals with some aspects of Social Movements”.
For the past few months, NCERT has been revamping the education system by removing and adding relevant textbook content for holistic learning.