Fewer lessons will reduce pressure, say teachers

Mumbai: Following the decision to reduce state board syllabus by 25 per cent for Class 1 to 12, city schools have welcomed the move as it will reduce the pressure on teachers allowing more time for innovative methods in online education. On July 25, Varsha Gaikwad, school education minister of Maharashtra, announced the syllabus has been reduced owing to the loss of teaching hours as physical schools are shut in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

City schools claim this decision will make it conducive to new teaching-learning techniques. A principal of a South Mumbai school said, "First of all, the reduction in the syllabus will help teachers to focus on concepts that are paramount. Secondly, we are trying innovative methods such as explaining concepts in the form of storytelling through videos, animated infographics and real-time interactive learning. This reduction in syllabus will encourage teachers to initiate additional innovative techniques."

Teachers of state-run schools said the pedagogy of online education is different and time consuming compared to physical classes. Mousmi Bhattacharya, a teacher, said, "We spend almost 10 to 15 minutes at the beginning of every online class in making students quiet, checking audio and video quality, internet connection and managing other technical interferences. Both students and teachers have to be patient as it is a virtual class so it takes additional time."

"Since we need more time in online education it is better to have a streamlined trimmed syllabus, said Calvin Lobo, another teacher. Lobo said, "We have already lost number of school hours as physical schools are shut. Online sessions cannot be conducted for long hours. If we have a streamlined syllabus then we can focus and stress on the main concepts and make sure every student understands it."

The Maharashtra State Council of Educational Research and Training (MSCERT) has uploaded a detailed document on its official website www.maa.ac.in with subject-wise details on the revised content. The syllabus of 101 subjects has been reduced.

The state followed suit as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) reduced respective syllabus for the academic year 2020-21.

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