Here’s how it’ll work: For the academic year 2020-21 students from classes 1 to 10 will have only 70% theory lessons — or core concepts — that they need to study for their internal, summative and board exams. The remaining 30% will involve practical activities, which will not be part of any assessment.
The move, which officials say is based on Central government guidelines that stress on more project-based learning, is likely to affect close to 25 lakh students across Telangana.
“Considering students are learning from home, we have to engage them more in activities/projects. Concepts which can be taught through practical intervention, such as nature, protection of trees etc. will be taught as part of activities/projects. Those which require explanation and thorough understanding will be taught in detail,” A Sridevasena told TOI. All subjects — either theory or practical — will, however, be taught to all students.
For example, instead of writing answers on them, class 10 students will now have to submit projects on subjects such as literacy rates (as per Census of 2011), population, dispersion of light etc. In case of class 8 students, projects will include reproduction of animals or even disaster management. Teachers and school managements say that this rationalisation of the syllabus might lead to ambiguity in teaching. “We fear that many teachers may skip teaching some portions completely considering exams will not be held for the activity/project based syllabus. In many districts, teachers and parents are already overworked due to online classes. If 30% of the topics are not part of the core syllabus, many may not even bother to teach them,” said Chava Ravi, general secretary, Telangana State United Teachers Federation.
Considering the number of working days lost due to the pandemic, private school managements feel that the government should instead come up with a comprehensive academic calendar with detailed assessment guidelines.
“The government has not even issued a road map on how the exams should be conducted. Extended academic year will help if the school education department wants us to cover the entire syllabus – irrespective of whether they will be a part of the exams or not,” said S Madhusudan, general secretary, Telangana State Recognised School Managements Association.