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'Shocking': Mamata as CBSE drops Secularism, other topics from syllabus

Besides Mamata Banerjee, some academicians have also alleged that the exercise appears to be "ideologically" driven

Wednesday July 8, 2020 5:52 PM, ummid.com with inputs from Agencies

Reaction on CBSE Syllabus Cut

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday expressed shock over the CBSE decision to drop many topics like citizenship, federalism, secularism etc while reducing curricula for Classes 9 to 12 due to Covid-19 pandemic.

"Shocked to know that the central Government has dropped topics like citizenship, federalism, secularism and partisan in the name of reducing CBSE course during the Covid crisis," the CM tweeted.

"We strongly object to this and appeal the HRD Ministry to ensure these vital lessons aren't curtailed at any cost," Banerjee said.

The CBSE had on Tuesday notified that it has decided to cut and reduce by up to 30% the syllabus for Classes 9 to 12 for the academic year 2020-21. The move is taken to reduce course load on students amid the COVID-19 crisis, after suggestions from various quarters, including parents, the CBSE said.

'Ideologically driven'

The HRD Ministry maintained that the curriculum has been rationalised while retaining core elements. However, besides Mamata Banerjee some academicians have also alleged that the exercise appears to be "ideologically" driven.

The academicians also claimed that it appears more importance was given to "political considerations" than academics in reducing the syllabus, they said.

"On the face of it, it appears that there is some ideological element in the choice of what is deleted. How do you optimise learning during this time? You are trying to reduce the investment in education, you are compromising on the learning of students," Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University's School of Social Sciences Surajit Majumdar told PTI.

Impact on NEET, JEE

Rajesh Jha, a political science professor at the Delhi University (DU), said when the choice-based credit system was introduced in varsity, the paper on nationalism and colonialism, which was earlier compulsory was made optional in 2017.

"Now, it has also happened to school syllabus. Unfortunately, political considerations have taken over academics. This will only affect academic rigour and quality. The concepts of liberty, equality, social justice, secularism are linked. How can one be taught without other?" he said.

Meanwhile, school representatives raised concerns over the lack of clarity on whether reduction of syllabus will impact syllabus of entrance examinations like NEET and JEE.

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