Mumbai: Junior College Students Can Now Study Subjects Across Streams

Mumbai: Junior College Students Can Now Study Subjects Across Streams

Students in junior colleges (Grades 11 and 12) in Maharashtra may no longer be restricted by the traditional boundaries of Arts, Science and Commerce streams and will likely be allowed to study subjects across the disciplines.

Musab QaziUpdated: Thursday, May 23, 2024, 12:45 PM IST
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Mumbai: Students in junior colleges (Grades 11 and 12) in Maharashtra may no longer be restricted by the traditional boundaries of Arts, Science and Commerce streams and will likely be allowed to study subjects across the disciplines.

The new draft State Curriculum Framework for School Education (SCF-SE) has proposed a new flexible subject plan for the higher secondary stage, which includes two languages, four elective and two mandatory subjects. The document asks schools to make arrangements for offering a wider choice of study areas to students within a next few years.

The proposed framework, which covers classes 3 to 12, is part of an exercise initiated by the state school education department to revise the school curricula in line with the National Education Policy (NEP).

The government has already approved the new SCF and curriculum for the Foundational Stage (Pre-school and grades 1 and 2), with new textbooks for classes 1 and 2 to be introduced from the academic year 2025-26. The State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT) released the draft SCF-SE for public feedback on Wednesday.

The draft SCF-SE has been prepared in accordance with the National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCF-SE), which was released by the Union Ministry of Education in August last year. The proposed revisions in the subject plan, especially in higher secondary schools, is aimed at offering a more flexible, multi-disciplinary and integrated curriculum.

According to the new plan, junior college students will have to mandatorily study a minimum of two languages, one of which has to be an Indian-origin language. Unlike the existing norms, English will no longer be a mandatory subject in classes 11 and 12. While, as of now, the students can avoid taking the second language if they choose to study a bifocal subject such as computer science or banking, there's no such provision in the draft proposal.

The document has divided the elective subjects into three groups - Science, and 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.

The new policy envisages for junior colleges to immediately start offering subjects from at least two of these four groups, languages being the fourth group, and expand to all four groups within next five years. They must offer all the subjects listed in the draft framework by the next ten years, it has been recommended.

While the flexibility in choice offered in SCF-SE is similar to the one recommended in NCF-SE, the categorisation of subjects in the national plan is different from the state's framework. In the national plan, Science and Mathematics have been clubbed in one group, while Art, Physical and Vocational Education courses have been put in another group. Interdisciplinary Areas have been paired with humanities and social sciences.

The state has also suggested two mandatory subjects related to Environmental and Physical Education, though the assessment of these subjects will be done at the school level.

While most of the subjects at classes 3 till 10 have remained unchanged, the SCF-SE has proposed combining History, Civics and Geography at upper primary stage (classes 6-8) into a common subject named Sociology. There will be an inter-disciplinary subject each in classes 9 and 10, namely Social Personalities and Environmental Education, respectively.

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