'Cramped' NCERT syllabus to be cut by half: Javadekar

Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar addresses a press conference on the achievements of the BJP government in the last 4 years, in Kolkata on Saturday. PTI

Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday said the government has decided to reduce the NCERT syllabus by half as it is "cramped".

He said the proposed amendment to the Right to Education (RTE) Act, which reviews the no-detention policy and empowers states to conduct examinations for Class V and VIII students, is expected to to be tabled before Parliament in July.

The minister also said the draft of the new National Education Policy will be tabled before the Union Cabinet by the end of this month.

Along with studies, a child needs to have physical education, life skills and value education as "education is not just memorising and putting it down in the answer sheet," Javadekar said at a press conference.

"Education is comprehensive, to put to use one's cognitive and analytical abilities. That is true education... The NCERT syllabus is so cramped. Hence we have decided to reduce the syllabus by half," the minister said.

The ministry has received 37,000 suggestions on classes, lessons and subjects from teachers and others and "we are working on it," he said.

This will effect a system change where a student would get time for various activities and not only for cramming information, he said.

Keeping this in mind, each centrally aided school will get sports equipment. Primary schools will get equipment worth Rs 5,000, upper primaries Rs 10,000 and SSC and HSC level schools Rs 25,000 to emphasise the relevance of sports in the school curriculum.

Similarly, every centrally aided schools will be given a library grant of Rs 5,000 to Rs 20,000, he said.

Javadekar said the amendment to the RTE Act would empower the states to conduct examinations for students of Class V and VIII and it was expected to be taken up before Parliament in July.

"The Congress did not allow Parliament to function earlier and hence the draft could not be taken up so far. I am now hopeful it will come up before Parliament in the July session as all parties have supported the freedom given to respective states (to decide on detention issue)," he said.

"While 25 states, including West Bengal, want the exams — which I welcome — I respect those who do not want it also. I hope any change in the no-detention policy will be a reality by August and it (the decision) will be left to the respective states," he said.

Asked about the National Testing Agency, which would be mandated to conduct entrance tests to higher educational institutions, the minister said, "We will get a chairman soon... once the complete board is set up, it will start working from the 2019 session."

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'Cramped' NCERT syllabus to be cut by half: Javadekar

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