It's time to widen their horizons


The addition of new electives to the CBSE curriculum has given students more options to choose from. While some have welcomed these with open arms, others feel that they may not be that helpful.

Subject such as gender studies, theatre and law will be some of the new electives introduced by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) in the 2014-15 session.

These subjects will be offered to the students of classes 11 and 12. 

Legal studies will include theory, nature and sources of law, historical evolution of Indian legal system, nature of political institutions and arbitration.

It will also have tribunal adjudication and alternate dispute resolution, civil and criminal courts and processes, family justice system, human rights in India, the international context and an overview of the legal profession in India. 

Teachers feel that these subjects will benefit students who have always wanted to learn them. 

Sabitha, the principal of CMR National Public School, says that though these subjects might be beneficial to the students and they might enjoy studying them, it will be very difficult to find faculty members for them.

"It is true that the students will enjoy studying these subjects. But we will offer these subjects only after we find faculty members for them,” she notes.

Students are of the opinion that these new electives will help them score in the final exams and are quite interesting.

“There are subjects like theatre, gender studies and law which are very interesting. It will be helpful to see if our interests lie in these subjects. I would like to take up drama. It is a great step that the CBSE has taken towards widening our horizons and making the curriculum interesting. Electives are subjects which don’t require a lot of effort and hence, it is fun to read and learn them,” says Anamika, a student.

Dorothy, a teacher whose children study in a CBSE school, points out though the CBSE offers a plethora of subjects to its students, not all schools include that in their curriculum.

"There are not many takers for subjects like these in class 11 and 12. Students have to study five subjects out of which, English is common,” she says. 

“Three others are the core subjects and the fourth subject, which is an elective, often depends on what the school is offering. Also if an elective is taken up only by a handful of students, it might not be economically viable for the school to offer it,” she adds.

“These electives can only offered by high-level CBSE schools which have a lot of revenue, I don’t think mid-level schools will offer them. Besides, I also feel that it is too early to introduce 16 and 17 year olds to such specialised subjects,” she explains.

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