Delhi government's decision to cut 25 percent of the syllabus for classes six to eight to incorporate skill-based subjects will not have any loss of learning to students as the government is making efforts to reuse the deleted portions in more constructive forms, the officials have said.
The decision by the AAP government to reduce the syllabus is condemned by some activists and academicians, who have called the process to be "arbitrary" and one that has not been completely deliberated upon.
However, according to the Directorate of Education (DoE) officials, the experts studying the subjects that can be deleted, are also keeping in mind how the same can be "reused" in higher grades to ensure that the basic standards of learning for each class do not suffer.
Speaking in this regard senior DoE official said that, "There is not going to be any loss of learning for students if the syllabus is going to be sacrificed for co-curricular activities like music, arts and theatre. Whatever portions will be deleted from the syllabus are likely to be incorporated in "some form or the other" in the higher grades."
"This reshuffling and reduction of the syllabus is indispensable because we realised that half of the students can't even read and write properly. Class six students do not know basic mathematics. So we are deleting some portions of the syllabus to make space for basic skills programme." he added.
Earlier this month, the Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had announced government's decision to reduce 25 percent syllabus for Classes 6 to 8 from October onwards to pave way for more skill-based courses, art, theatre and sports in its education system.
Sisodia, who is also the Education Minister said, "The government is in talks with CBSE to see how a similar reduction can be worked out for the syllabus for Classes 9 to 12 from next year. The government had then invited suggestions from teachers to reduce syllabi and nearly 40,000 inputs have been received by it."
The official said, "Inputs have been received and then the draft for the reduction will be worked out. This experiment will be introduced in 50 model government schools on a pilot basis from the current academic session."
She further added, "Suggestions included removal for some chapters, deletion of portions instead of complete chapters and not removing a few chapters. We have put the draft of the reduced syllabus on the public domain and also sent the same to government schools seeking suggestions."
A review committee to be set up the government will be consisted of members from National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), Delhi University, educational organisations, civil society, among others to examine these suggestions over a period of one month.