SYLLABUS REDUCTION IN ICSE AND CBSE

ICSE Syllabus Reduction

The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations CISCE, popularly called ICSE Board has announced a reduction of up to 25 per cent in the syllabus for classes 10th and 12th. This reduction would be applicable for ICSE, ISC board exams to be conducted in 2021.

The board has decided this on account of learning disruption that students faced as the schools were closed during the nation-wide lockdown. The ICSE, ISC board has directed all its schools to ensure that the subject teachers go by the syllabus strictly as per the sequence of topics listed in the syllabus. This would make it easier to facilitate a further reduction in syllabus. ICSE Board Exams remaining papers for the year 2020 have recently been cancelled and the new assessment scheme for the students is expected soon on cisce.org. 

CICSE Chief Executive and Secretary Gerry Arathoon said, “Schools across the country have been shut for the past three months due to the lockdown. While a number of CISCE-affiliated schools have tried to adapt to this changed scenario and have tried to keep alive the teaching-learning process through online classes, there has been a significant shortening of the academic year and loss of the instructional hours.”

He informed that the currently used syllabi would be reduced by 25 per cent which is subject to the condition that prevails in the next few months. He asserted that in case the conditions do not improve the syllabus might be reduced even more.

“To make up for the loss in instructional hours during the current session, the CISCE has worked with its subject experts, to reduce the syllabus for all major subjects at the ICSE, Class 10 and ISC, Class 12 levels. Syllabus reduction has been done, keeping in mind the linear progression across classes while ensuring that the core concepts related to the subject are retained,” he informed while talking to the media.

The Chief Executive officer and Secretary informed that there might be a fifty per cent reduction in syllabus too if the conditions did not improve in the coming months. He added, “Given the academic loss till July, which is around 45 days we have reduced the syllabus for the students appearing for Class 10 and 12 Boards up to 25 percent. However, that is subject to further review as from July first week our schools are only able to resume online classes. This could have further adverse effects. We may even have to reduce the syllabi further and may even have to go up to 50 per cent reduction.”

The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) has worked with its subject experts to reduce the syllabi for all major subjects of the ICSE and ISC.

“Syllabus reduction has been done keeping in mind the linear progression across classes while ensuring that the core concepts related to the subject are retained,” said Gerry Arathoon Chief Executive and Secretary of the Council in the circular dated July 3.

The reduced syllabi for the current academic year 2020-21 have been made available on the CISCE website. Student may see ICSE reduced syllabus for class 9 and 10 and ISC reduced syllabus for classes 11 and 12 on the website.

CBSE Syllabus Reduction

Central Board of Secondary Education, CBSE is expected to share a reduced syllabus with the various schools for Classes 9 to 12 soon. The new syllabus, officials have shared, are almost ready and would be shared with the respective schools soon. Furthermore, it is expected that the syllabus may be reduced by 33% for 10th 12h Board Exams 2021. Paper pattern is also expected to be revised.

CBSE has been in conversation with various stakeholders and also NCERT to rationalize the existing syllabus for secondary and higher secondary classes in view of the prevalent conditions. It has taken cognizance of the slowed speed of online learning, existing situations and also the fact that the schools may not open soon enough for many regions in the country. Taking all the factors into consideration, the board would be releasing a revised curriculum for Classes 9 to 12. For classes 1 to 8, the board has already notified schools to accordingly make the changed. 

Though the exact extent of the changes has not been shared as yet, Mr. Anurag Tripathi, in a webinar with various school Principals from across the country shared the board’s readiness. Heads of schools have shared the broad outline as shared by the secretary of the board, highlighting that the new syllabus and paper pattern is going to be more ‘student centric’.

The board has also pointed out the simple reduction of syllabus is not enough. With COVID-19 and closure of schools, education has been impacted to a large extent. Though online classes have started, there are considerable differences in classroom coaching and online classes. With this in mind, the board is expected to also make the following changes in the class 10, 12 exams, including revised paper patter, evaluation and assessment strategy.

Inclusion of online assessment in terms is small tests, project based and inter-group activities are being considered. Schools have also been advised to consider ‘Digital Labs’ and changing ‘practical’ to make it at home. No change in weightage of practical or internal marks was suggested. Guidelines for summative assessment are also expected to be shared by the board along with revised syllabus structure.

In another unconfirmed report, it was suggested that CBSE may increase the MCQ part of the paper pattern further. In previous years plans shared by the board, CBSE had already suggested an increase in the MCQ section to cover about 20%. This was further reminded by the board to the schools in a circular released in April. The board is likely to further increase the weight of MCQs. Some even suggested that the same may be increased to about 50% of the paper – this, however, was not suggested by the secretary in the meeting mentioned above.