New syllabus lengthy and advanced, say teachers

But some think it is refreshing and crucial to preparing students

New syllabus lengthy and advanced, say teachers

The new textbooks for some primary and high school classes under the State syllabus have generated mixed reactions.

Many teachers say the new curriculum is lengthy and advanced but some others think it refreshing and much needed to test students’ preparedness.

The Karnataka Textbook Society (KTS), the academic body under the Department of State Education Research and Training (DSERT), introduced the new syllabus based on the National Curriculum Framework, 2005, for class 5 and 8 in 2012-13 as part of its plan to revamp the curriculum. This academic year, new syllabus has been introduced for class 1, 2, 6 and 9. Next year, new syllabus will be introduced for class 3, 4, 7 and 10, thereby changing the syllabus for all classes.

Those with not-so favourable opinion about the curriculum have cited the example of new textbooks introduced for class 5 and 8 last year.

Renuka, who teaches maths for class 8-9 and science for class 9 at Sri Vani School, Rajajinagar, says she is struggling to cope with the new maths syllabus. To make her point, she mentions a chapter on ‘conditional identities’ that is usually part of class 10 but is included in class 9 in the new textbook.

“Even class 10 students struggled to grasp the topic. Their peers in class 9 will find it a lot tougher,” Renuka claimed, adding that it was beyond her capacity to complete the new portions in class 8 maths textbooks as it was “too lengthy”. “The workbooks can’t be done in the class as there is so much to cover in the main syllabus. We will need some time to make the adjustment,” she said.

The Principal of Parvati Ratan English School, Kavalbyrasandra, Daniel S Raju, is of the opinion that new textbooks might make it difficult for teachers as well as students. They haven’t really coped with the new syllabus introduced for class 5 and 8 last year. “Students’ performance in class tests has come down and we fear it might worsen if teachers are not imparted adequate training especially in core subjects such as social sciences, science and maths,” he said.

The KTS Managing Director, Y T Gurumurthy, defended the new syllabus, saying the textbooks were aimed at giving students a practical approach instead of a theoretical one, he said.

On its part, the DSERT is imparting training to teachers in the forms of various modules. Besides, five-day workshops on various aspects of the new syllabus are being conducted for teachers when needed.

Some teachers, too, have welcomed the new syllabus but feel more time is needed for new concepts to be reinforced. Shivarame Gowda, a teacher of maths at Jnaneshwari Kannada Higher Primary School, Kavalbyrasandra, says the new concepts are refreshing and very much needed to augment student’s competitiveness.

“Students should be given ample examples so that they understand mathematical sums. The new textbook addresses this need as there are enough of such examples at the end of the each chapter,” he remarked.

He admitted that teachers and students would need some time to get used to the syllabus. “But I’m confident that the new changes will improve the quality of school education,” he said.

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