COVID-19 pandemic: HRD working on plan to reduce syllabus for schools, instructional hours

The HRD Ministry is working on a plan to reduce school syllabus as well as hours of instruction for the current session to make up for any academic loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Union minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ announced on Tuesday.
The ministry has sought suggestions from various stakeholders in this regard.
“In view of the current circumstances and after receiving a lot of requests from parents and teachers, we are contemplating the option of reduction in the syllabus and instructional hours for the coming academic year,” HRD minister Nishank tweeted.
“I would like to appeal to all teachers, academicians and educationists to share their points of view on this matter using #SyllabusForStudents2020 on MHRD’s or my Twitter and Facebook page, so that we can take them into consideration while making a decision,” he added.
Universities and schools across the country have been closed since March 16, when the Centre announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as part of a slew of measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
A 21-day nationwide lockdown was announced on March 24, which came into effect the next day. While the government has announced easing of certain restrictions, schools and colleges continue to remain closed.
Meanwhile, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has already started working on rationalising the curriculum to make up for academic loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the reduced syllabus will be ready in a month’s time, according to board chairman Manoj Ahuja.
“We cannot bring sudden changes in the education system and create confusion and uncertainty. The curriculum reforms are going to be in sync with the learning outcomes,” he had said during a virtual conference on ‘Future of Schools: Overcoming COVID-19 challenge and beyond’ organised by Ashoka University.
“We are rationalising the curriculum. We plan to retain the core elements and shelve off the parts which are unnecessary in terms of learning outcomes.
“If something is duplicated in some way or working extra on same concept, we aim to shelve it and thirdly, anything which can be done in a more practical manner should be done that way. That’s what we are planning and we should be able to finalise within a month’s time,” Ahuja added.