HYDERABAD: As students of intermediate first year parse through their ‘environmental science’ booklets to prepare for the examination on January 31, none can be as passive as them about the outcome. “We have never seen the textbook, there is no teacher and neither do the marks count. Why put us through this?” questions Shruthi, a student at a private junior college in the city.
Mandated by an order of the Supreme Court in 2004, the incorporation of environmental education in the school curriculum (up to Class XII) across the state and national boards of education has been ineffective in the State. The examination in intermediate first year, designed as a continuation of the curriculum taught in school has been reduced to a token examination.
“There is no weightage given to the marks attained in the exam in the total of 1000. We are given a set of questions and we prepare only for those. We have to write the exam as it is compulsory for obtaining the final certificate,” says M Abhigyan, who plans to prepare for the set questions a day before the test. The examination which is conducted by the junior colleges and checked by the lecturers (of the colleges themselves) ensures that the colleges cannot be held accountable for not teaching the course. The National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) was appointed the nodal agency for implementation of the project in 2004 by the Supreme Court. Even though NCERT has devised a syllabus for implementation till class XII with the average of 50 marks distributed over 11th and 12th class for the subject, the examination is mandatory only in the first year of intermediate in Andhra Pradesh, the Intermediate Board claims.
In-charge of curriculum for board of intermediate education Prof G Lakshmi Narayana said that the syllabus for environmental education does not extend to intermediate final year. “There is no course or syllabus for final year students. The examination is only for first year which the junior colleges conduct. They send in the answer sheets, question booklets and marks of the candidates to the board for the record,” said the curriculum in-charge.
Explaining the apparent confusion between the Supreme Court verdict and the Intermediate Board's stand, G Prasanna Kumar, director of the National Green Corps (NGC) who helped in drafting the textbooks for the board of intermediate education, said, "We have a syllabus and textbook for both the years of intermediate. The decision on introducing environmental education in intermediate final year has not been arrived at. The idea was to split the syllabus over the two years on lines of NCERT. However, as intermediate education is completely run by private educational institutes, it is difficult to monitor.”
But the board doesn't seem to be even aware that it is violating the Supreme Court verdict which makes it a must to hold a public examination on environmental education at the end of Class XII along with the other subjects.