New Delhi: The periodic table, democracy, and sources of energy — Class 10 students will no longer learn about these from their government-issued textbooks. Complete chapters on the subjects now stand deleted as a part of a “rationalisation” meant to reduce the “burden on students”.
The removal of the theory of evolution from the Class 10 curriculum stoked significant concern earlier this year. Newly released textbooks by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) have revealed further cuts, including a chapter on the periodic table.
Among the topics dropped from the science textbook are also chapters on environmental sustainability and sources of energy. Full chapters on democracy, challenges to democracy and political parties have also been dropped for Class 10 students after the latest revision.
The NCERT says that it was imperative to reduce the load on students in light of the coronavirus pandemic. “Difficulty level, overlapping content, and content irrelevant in the present context” are some of the reasons listed by NCERT for dropping these chapters from the curriculum.
Students, though, can still learn about these subjects, but only if they opt for the relevant subject in Class 11 and Class 12. In India, Class 10 is the last year in which science is taught as a compulsory subject. Only students who elect to study chemistry in the final two years of education (before university) will learn about the periodic table.
Earlier this year, the NCERT had come under fire for dropping the theory of evolution from the Class 10 science textbook. More than 1,800 scientists and educators had written an open letter expressing concern over the rationalisation exercise.
The government, though, has rejected all criticism as propaganda.”Due to Covid-19, rationalisation of courses was going on, to reduce the burden of studies on the child. If a child wants to study, Darwin’s Theory 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 said.