New Delhi School students can heave a sigh of relief as the content in NCERT textbooks will be reduced by 10 to 15% from academic year 2019-20 as part of HRD ministry-prodded rationalisation exercise undertaken to relieve youngsters from “curriculum overload”.
Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar, who chaired a meeting of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) general council on Saturday, said the target is to achieve a 50 % reduction of the “curriculum overload” without affecting the learning outcomes.
“Curriculum will be reviewed to ensure holistic education in which there will be time for physical education, value education, life-skills education and experiential learning. The curriculum needs to be reduced. We have decided to reduce curriculum by 50 %. This year, there will be 10-15 % reduction. Next year it will be more. Finally, in 2021, the target will be achieved,” Javadekar said after the meeting.
The HRD minister has in the past said that by removing duplication and redundant portions, the NCERT will be able to bring down its curriculum significantly. Javadekar has insisted that the exercise would be scientific.
There were over a lakh suggestions on the basis of which the rationalisation exercise was carried out, an official said.
The Union minister also said the number of NCERT textbooks published this year would go up from 6 crore last year to 8 crore this year to ensure adequate supply.
Education ministers of Delhi, Gujarat and Assam also attended the meeting in Vigyan Bhawan.
Speaking about the other decisions, Javadekar said it was also decided that there will be a grading of states on performance indicators in education.
“All the states will be assessed on performance indicators based on 70 parameters. This will improve quality and give a fair picture of where each state stands. There will be a healthy competition to improve the performance,” Javadekar said.
Giving an example, the HRD official said e-attendance for teachers is one such parameter to curb the problem of absenteeism. Maintaining health cards of students is another, he added.
The HRD ministry had some time back carried out a performance grading exercise in which Gujarat and Chandigarh had come out on top, the official said. It was on the basis of this result it was decided that the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test may be held in Chandigarh, he added.
Giving details about the No Detention Policy, Javadekar said states were being allowed to conduct exams in classes V and VIII to improve learning quality. Barring four-five states, most states were in favour of conducting the exam, HRD officials said.
Delhi’s deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, who holds the education portfolio for the state, welcomed the rollback of the No Detention Policy.