The education boards with a national base, namely CBSE and CISCE are deliberating over further curtailment of the syllabus of high school and intermediate classes to adjust for the drastically reduced class hours due to the COVID-19 lockdown. If this comes to pass, it will further add to the initial slashing of the syllabus announced in July. Further abridgment of the syllabus is being considered as the pandemic is likely to persist long enough to affect the board preparations. Not just that, the schedule of the annual boards is also being delayed by 1 to 2 months on account of the pandemic.
Like the national boards, states including Telengana and Gujarat have reduced the curricular burden of the students. Generally speaking, the decision to reduce the syllabi by 30 percent has already been taken. Now, the merit of further reduction is being judged.
According to CBSE official’s statement to the media, the national board has not yet decided on further reduction of the syllabus, but in all likelihood, it will be done given the COVID-19 situation does not improve dramatically enough to enable physical classroom instruction.
The initial reduction was announced in July and online classes and the schools resorted to online classes to cover the syllabus. However, given the disparity in the capability of the schools in conducting virtual classes, it is unsafe to assume that students are invariably ready to face assessments. Therefore, it is reasonable to consider further reduction of the syllabus by 20 percent or more.
The deferment of the dates of the boards is another subject being actively considered. The postponement would, in theory, allow physical classes to cover a measure of the syllabus before the exams.
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Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.