New Delhi: School students will no longer receive education on critical scientific topics such as evolution, the periodic table of elements, sources of energy, and environmental sustainability. These changes, affecting approximately 134 million students aged 11-18, have caused outrage among researchers and educators.
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.
The removal of evolution from the curriculum for students aged 15-16 had already garnered significant attention and sparked a petition in protest. However, newly released textbooks by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) have revealed further cuts, including a chapter on the periodic table and various pollution- and climate-related topics for younger learners. Furthermore, biology, chemistry, geography, mathematics, and physics subjects for older students have been affected as well.
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.
Here’s the list of chapters dropped from Class 10 textbooks.
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.