The Council For Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) has announced a reduction of 25 percent of the syllabus for the 2021 board examination for classes 10 and 12. The decision has been reached owing to the disruption caused by the continuous closure of the educational institutions due to the pandemic. It is good to mention that the schools and other educational institutions have been running closed since the outbreak of the pandemic early this year.  

Announcing this information, CICSE Chief Executive and Secretary Gerry Arathoon said to the news reporters, “…Schools across all the states in the country have been shut for the past three months due to the lockdown. While quite a few numbers of CISCE-affiliated schools have tried to acclimatize to this changed scenario and have tried to keep alive the teaching-learning process through online classes, there has been an important shortening of the academic year and loss of the instructional hours.”

Furthermore, Mr. Arathoon added, “CISCE is trying to make up for the loss in instructional hours during the current session (2202-21). We have worked with the subject experts, to reduce the syllabus for all major subjects at the ICSE (Class 10) and ISC (Class 12) standards. Syllabus reduction has been done, focusing on the linear progression across classes while ensuring that the core concepts related to the subject are not disturbed.”

Arathoon also said, “At present, CISCE has decided to reduce the syllabi up to 25 percent, but that is subject to further review of the prevailing conditions. The council may have to reduce it further in case the prevailing conditions don’t turn conducive.” 

“Given the academic loss till July 2020, which is around 45 days we have reduced the syllabus for the students who would appear for Class 10 and 12 Boards up to 25 percent. Nevertheless, that is subject to further review as from the first week in July, our schools are only able to resume online classes. This could have further adverse effects. We may have to reduce the syllabi further and may even have to go up to 50 percent reduction,” Mr. Arathoon said.

The board has instructed the schools to make sure that the subject teachers concerned at the ICSE and ISC levels transact the syllabus strictly according to the series of topics given in the syllabus, so as to ease further decrease in the syllabus, if necessary, depending on the condition of the pandemic in the nation.

On the other hand, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is also in the process of reducing the syllabus and has sought suggestions from various stakeholders. However, the final syllabus has not been intimated as yet.

Just to mention once again, the universities and schools across India have been closed since March 16 when the central government declared a nationwide shutdown as one of the measures to combat the situation caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

A countrywide lockdown was declared on March 24, which was imposed from the next day. While the government has relaxed quite a few restrictions, schools and colleges continue to remain closed.