The Maharashtra government on Saturday (July 25) announced that syllabus for Classes 1-12 will be reduced by 25 per cent so as to reduce the burden on students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad said details of which lessons from textbooks have been omitted will be uploaded on the website of the Maharashtra State Council of Educational Research and Training (MSCERT).
Since schools have not reopened physically, the government wants to ease the burden on students, so the syllabus will be reduced by 25 per cent for the academic year 2020-21, she said in a statement.
Taking to Twitter, she said, “Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the proposal submitted by the Maharashtra State Council for Educational Research and Training to reduce the syllabus for Classes 1 to 12 for the academic year 2020-21 have been approved by the government.”
While schools remain closed, the academic year has started from June 15 and various alternative methods of learning are being adopted, the minister said.
A similar decision was taken earlier by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to reduce the syllabus. The CBSE announced on July 7 that they would reduce the syllabus for Classes 9-12.
Meanwhile, the state government’s decision to cancel all final-year university exams contradicts that of the Centre’s, since the University Grants Commission (UGC) had instructed all universities to conduct final-year examinations by August-September.
The UGC’s announcement received severe backlash from students and academicians. Several states, including Maharashtra, also wrote to the Centre seeking revision of the UGC guidelines.
The UGC had also reportedly responded that the Maharashtra government cannot take a decision on cancelling exams.
The matter is still pending in the Supreme Court, and the court will hear the matter again on Thursday.
(With inputs from agencies)