CHENNAI: A day after the new draft syllabus and curriculum for State Board schools in Tamil Nadu was released, the online site on which the syllabus was uploaded saw over four lakh visits, 70,000 downloads and hundreds of feedback, said T Udhayachandran, principal secretary, School Education Department.
Teachers and experts welcomed the overall change in approach to education. They, however, added that enough analysis cannot be done until the textbooks and detailed questioning and examination methodology is released.
There is roughly at least a 10 per cent increase in content. However, the focus was on shifting the syllabus from a content driven one to a more holistic one that aids real life, according to an official in Tamil Nadu State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT).
Introduction of ICT
The syllabus for the first time has included an exclusive position paper on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and elaborated on its importance in the current scenario.
Keeping in mind that school education has to make the learner competitive and culturally conscious, the State has taken up the recommendation of the ‘Report of the Committee for Evolution of the New Education Policy 2016, MHRD-NUEPA’, which advised that “ICT can no longer be treated as a school subject; it has to become a part of the learning process.”
“We have introduced ICT in primary level itself, so that students and teachers don’t grapple with it at later stages. Education cannot be confined to textbooks, children learn from the internet now. So, we’ve decided blend technology in the curriculum,” Udhayachandran told Express.
He added that the syllabus too has been updated with contemporary and current issues. “We have also given importance to vocational training in subjects such as agriculture, textile technology, nursing and arts like music, drawing and even sewing. We’ve designed it keeping in mind the market standards.”
For example, at the higher secondary level, classic science that has been taught for long has mostly been pushed to Standard XI, while recent technology is given importance in Standard XII. Some teachers, however, felt that social science curriculum did not see as much change as science and mathematics did, apart from juggling lessons between different classes.
Need more change
While many teachers strongly welcome the new syllabus, they said that not much will change if the evaluation and examination patterns are not altered. What set our old state syllabus a notch lower than CBSE is the reduced relative prevalence of analytical and application-based questioning patterns, according to P Saravanamurugan, a botany teacher from Coimbatore.
“A good lesson plan will not be restrained by content alone. It will have equal importance to knowledge, understanding, skill and application. From the overview, this syllabus is the first step in that direction,” commended V Manivasagan, State secretary of Higher Secondary Teachers Association, adding that it may however take at least five years before the changed curriculum starts showing significant positive results.
In a nutshell
There is roughly at least a 10 percent increase in content
Exclusive position paper on Information and Communication Technology
Stress on vocational training in drawing, sewing, etc.,
Syllabus updated with contemporary, current issues
Some say social sciences did not see much change