Change In Curricula: Students Apprehensive

Change In Curricula: Students Apprehensive

New subject plan for junior colleges allows students to choose courses across arts, science, commerce and vocational streams

Musab Qazi Krisha V BhattUpdated: Thursday, June 06, 2024, 05:40 PM IST
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Students, parents and teachers in the city are skeptical about the feasibility and usefulness of the proposed new subject plan for junior colleges (classes 11 and 12) that would allow students to choose courses across arts, science, commerce and vocational streams.

The new subject plan has been introduced in the draft State Curriculum Framework for School Education (SCF-SE), which was released for public feedback by the state education department on Wednesday. It represents one of the key changes in the school curricula at the higher secondary level and is in line with the National Education Policy (NEP)'s objectives of offering a flexible and multidisciplinary curriculum and blurring the rigid boundaries between science and humanities, and vocational and general education.

The new plan proposes having at least eight subjects at senior secondary level, includes two languages, four elective and two mandatory subjects. The elective subjects into three groups – science, commerce and management; social sciences, art education and vocational education; and mathematics and computational thinking and interdisciplinary areas. The students will have to study at least four subjects from at least two of these groups.

Some educationists have welcomed the changes, which they believe will open 'interest-driven pathways' to students. “Combining mathematics and computational thinking makes sense considering the global focus on STEM and will allow students may take up data science an Artificial Intelligence. Allowing students to study multiple disciplines and opening up silos is a good idea. However, they should have continued with the mandatory English language, as it's the gateway to the world," said Hemlata Bagla, vice chancellor of HSNC University, Mumbai.

However, the school students aren't particularly enthused about the possibility of studying a wider range of subjects, as they believe that the traditional system suits their career plans better. Aditya Mehta, who is aspiring to pursue engineering, said, “I would not want to study subjects from another stream. I want to pursue engineering and only prefer to study subjects related to it. This can make learning interesting for some, but I don't see any benefit in this.”

Jash Raote, a student with dreams of getting admitted to the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) echoed similar sentiments. “I plan to choose science, which requires a lot of focus. Choosing a subject from a different stream would make things harder for me and make it difficult to focus,” he said.

Then, there are those like Among Patil, who are able to see the utility of the proposed new paradigm. “As a commerce student, I can now take psychology from the arts stream, which will help me understand consumer behaviour better. I will surely choose subjects from other streams as they can help me get a well-rounded education,” he said.

Meanwhile, parents and teachers remain apprehensive about the students' ability to select the right subjects. “At junior college, it's generally the parents who take a call on academic matters. Students may not be able to choose subjects. Too much flexibility might jumble things up," said the principal of a college in the Western suburbs.”

"It can make students very confused and lose focus of their main goal. Students will require a lot of counselling to understand these choices for their careers,” adds Imran Shaikh, a parent from the city.

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