Common Syllabus for Science and Maths across all school boards
The proposal to create a ‘‘common content’’ for science and mathematics subjects across all school boards has been opposed tooth and nail by National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT). Council director G Ravindra has written to Council of Boards of School Education (COBSE) president questioning the board’s authority to carry out curriculum revision.
In his letter to COBSE president Vineet Joshi, who is also the chairman of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Ravindra has said that NCERT, which prepares school syllabus and publishes textbooks, is the appropriate body for such a task. Joshi said that he has not received any letter form NCERT in this regard so far and would comment only after reading the content.
But COBSE officials said that NCERT itself is a recommending body. The COBSE in February this year had held a meeting of school boards and a core syllabus of science and mathematics was approved. Joint secretary of COBSE, Puran Chand, said: ‘‘COBSE is a voluntary body and not guided by any government regulation. We were talking about ‘common content’ and not ‘core curriculum’. We are aiming at providing a level-playing field to students of all boards in competitive exams such as AIPMT, AIEEE and IIT-JEE. We have prepared a draft. It will have 90% to 95% common content, which will be based on the curriculum of the competitive exams conducted by CBSE.’’ Questioning the objections of NCERT, Chand asked: ‘‘Should curriculum follow books or books follow the curriculum?’’
General secretary of COBSE, Prof D V Sharma, said that school boards have every right to update their syllabus and that COBSE would come out with common syllabus by July this year.
According to COBSE sources, 13 state boards and many education experts, including those from NCERT, were also consulted in the process. ‘‘NCERT is speaking about National Curriculum Framework 2005. Has nothing changed in the past five years? We have to keep updating our curriculum and not carry on teaching what was framed half a decade ago,’’ said Chand.
Interestingly, the idea of core curriculum was welcomed by HRD minister Kapil Sibal.