Parents, teachers of state board students demand cut in syllabus

With schools physically shut due to lockdown in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, parents of students studying in state board schools and teachers have demanded for the reduction in syllabus. Both parents and teachers said it is not possible to complete the entire syllabus as the pandemic has delayed and shortened the academic year. Also, students and teachers are still trying to grasp and master the pedagogy of online education with regular virtual classes.

Parents of students studying in state board schools said the academic year began from mid-June via online mode. Praveen Khandolkar, a parent said, "My daughter, who is in Class 10, began attending daily online classes from mid-June. But she is still trying to get a hang of the virtual methods of teaching-learning. It would help her if the syllabus is cut short before the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Class 10 board exams are conducted."

The school teachers highlighted the time constraints in virtual classes. Parul Mehta, a teacher said, "Often, around five to ten minutes per online session is spent in managing students and drawing their attention. We may have to rush with the syllabus if we do not have enough time to explain concepts in detail." Raziya Quereshi, another teacher said, "It will ease the burden on both students and teachers if the state reduces the syllabus at least for Class 10 and 12 where the board exams are approaching in the next few months."

On July 25, Varsha Gaikwad, state School Education Minister announced the state board syllabus has been reduced owing to the loss of teaching hours since the schools are shut in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maharashtra State Council of Educational Research and Training (MSCERT) 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.

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