In a news that will bring joy to many school students, Union minister for Human Resource and Development on Saturday announced that the ‘cramped’ NCERT syllabus will be cut by half by way of an amendment to the Right to Education (RTE) Act, news agency PTI reported. This proposed amendment reviews the no-detention policy and empowers states to conduct examinations for Class 5 and 8 students and it is expected to be tabled before Parliament in July. Prakash Javadekar said that the draft of new National Education Policy will be tabled before the Union Cabinet by the end of this month.
Elaborating on the motive behind the drastic reduction in the NCERT syllabus, Javadekar said, “Education is not just memorising and putting it down in answer sheet”. He said that along with studies, students need to take part in physical education, life skills and value education also. “Education is comprehensive, to put to use one’s cognitive and analytical abilities. That is true education… The NCERT syllabus is so cramped. Hence we have decided to reduce the syllabus by half.”
While talking about the 37,000 suggestions on classes, lessons and subjects received from teachers and others, Javadekar said that they are working on it. He added that reducing the system will affect a system change where a student would get time for various activities and not only for cramming information. While talking about creating a new environment for students for their overall development, the HRD minister said that each centrally-aided school will get sports equipment. “Primary schools will get equipment worth Rs 5,000, Upper Primary Rs 10,000 and SSC and HSC level schools Rs 25,000 to emphasise the relevance of sports in the school curriculum.” Likewise, every centrally-aided school will be given library grant of Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000, he said.
Notably, the changes that the minister spoke of on Saturday were announced as early as in February this year. Explaining why the changes could not be taken up till now, Javadekar said, “The Congress did not allow Parliament to function earlier and hence the draft could not be taken up so far. I am now hopeful it will come up before Parliament in the July session as all parties have supported the freedom given to respective states (to decide on detention issue).”
“While 25 states, including West Bengal, want the exams which I welcome… those who don’t want I also respect their freedom. I hope any change in no-detention policy will be a reality by August and it will be left for the respective state,” he added.