Darwin’s theory to be taught in Class XII: School Educational Secretary
Says, decision taken as per post-Covid syllabus rationalisation process
BHUBANESWAR: With the Centre facing serious criticism over NCERT’s move to remove Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution from Class X textbooks, Union Secretary of the School Education and Literacy Department Sanjay Kumar on Tuesday said it has not been eliminated and the students will be taught the topic in higher classes.
Talking to The New Indian Express on the sidelines of a media conference on the third G20 Education Working Group (EdWG) meeting in the city, Kumar said, the decision has been taken for rationalisation of the science syllabus to reduce the burden on students. Under it, the evolution component in the Class X textbook was removed from the chapter ‘Heredity and Evolution’.
“Students also study evolution in Class XII. To reduce the burden, they will now only study heredity in Class X, and evolution in Class XII. The change has been made as per the recommendation of the expert committee formed by NCERT,” he said and added that the rationalisation was done in March 2022. Students will get new books next year.
On implementation of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF), the draft of which was released by the Ministry of Education recently, Kumar said, states have the freedom to “adopt or adapt” it.“They have the liberty to adopt the NCF that we have framed. If they do not wish to do so, they can frame their own curriculum framework or incorporate local elements within the broad national curriculum,” he said.
Giving an example of a history textbook, the secretary said if the curriculum for history is prepared by NCERT, it will provide a national perspective. “In Odisha, if the government wants to introduce local historical events of relevance in the textbook, it can. Every state has the liberty to adapt the NCF or customise it as per its needs. They are also free to frame their own curriculum under the National Education Policy-2020,” he added.
On introducing skill courses (vocational subjects) from Class VI onwards in the next academic session, Kumar said that the department will map the local industrial ecosystem before going ahead. “Vocational training is driven by market demand. Deciding what kind of skills will be introduced in the school education curriculum from Class VI will depend on the local market. In Odisha, we will look into what kind of skill sets the local industries are looking at,” he said.