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Students in a fix over syllabus change delay

Meera Srinivasan

CHENNAI: Class X students and teachers of the SSLC stream are concerned about the delay in the announcement on the deletion of some portions from their science and math syllabus.

With the quarterly examinations in progress, almost all government and aided schools aim to complete the syllabus by November, so that students can be tested on the entire syllabus from the half-yearly examination.

While the School Education Department has announced that certain portions considered challenging will be deleted ahead of this year’s public examinations, a formal announcement is yet to be made.

According to R. Mohandoss, assistant headmaster, Hindu Higher Secondary School, more than 250 science teachers signed a letter requesting the Department to revise the syllabus, deleting the “difficult” portions. This letter was submitted several months ago, and officials agreed to look into it. Later, the Department made an announcement that a committee would be constituted to make appropriate changes to the syllabus. “Though they have said some portions will be deleted, we have not been told which chapters or parts to exclude,” he says.

In two months from now, most schools will have covered the entire syllabus. “Why tax the children with something that is very difficult?” asks another science teacher of an aided school.

“Some portions in Biology and Physics can only be taught at the collegiate level. Even if we try our best, school students cannot understand some of the concepts,” he adds. Some teachers deem a number of derivations in physics and metal extractions in chemistry unnecessary for Class X students.

A senior teacher says a number of students tend to base their choice of stream in Plus Two on their Class X subjects and marks. “The current biology syllabus intimidates them, discouraging many from opting for biology in Plus Two.”

In the 2008 public examinations, 1,591 students secured centum in science, up from 66 in 2007. In mathematics, however, 11, 605 students scored centum in 2008. “If so many students score hundred in mathematics and so few in science, it only means that the syllabus is taxing,” he says.

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