NCERT drops democracy, periodic table, energy sources from Class 10 textbooks
Class 10 students in government schools will no longer learn about democracy, the periodic table, and sources of energy from their textbooks. This “rationalisation” exercise to reduce the “burden on students” has already claimed the theory of evolution earlier this year.
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has released new Class 10 textbooks. Entire chapters on environmental sustainability, sources of energy, democracy, challenges to democracy, and political parties have gone missing.
The NCERT has justified the exclusions by saying it was important to reduce the workload for students during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Council has cited “difficult”, “overlapping”, “easily accessible”, and “irrelevant” content as the reasons for the choice of chapters to be dropped.
Topics gone missing
Not only Class 10 textbooks, other classes, too, have had key topics removed from the curriculum in NCERT’s “rationalisation” drive. The most deleted chapters seem to be democracy and Mughal rule in India, which have been dropped from the syllabi of classes 6, 9, 10, 11, and 12.
The Class 6 syllabus also misses India’s climate and wildlife, while the Class 7 curriculum has dropped a chapter on social equality in India. Class 11 textbooks have had chapters on poverty, peace, development, and states of matter gone missing, while Class 12 students no longer study about the Gujarat riots, Partition, Cold War, and reproduction in organisms.
Some of the topics are still present in other classes’ textbooks, though. For instance, the Class 11 chapter on the periodic table remains part of the syllabus. Hence, only pre-university students who study chemistry in Class 11 will learn about the periodic table. Similarly, NCERT’s Class 12 biology textbook has a full chapter on evolution.
Earlier this year, more than 1,800 scientists and academics had written an open letter expressing concern over NCERT’s “rationalisation” exercise after the Council dropped the theory of evolution from the Class 10 science textbook. However, the government has rejected all criticism as “propaganda”.
“If a child wants to study Darwin’s Theory, it is available on all websites. In Class 12, there is already Darwin’s Theory in the syllabus, so there should not be such false propaganda,” Minister of State (MoS) for Education Subhas Sarkar had reportedly said earlier.
(With agency inputs)