Class 10 examinations reintroduced. Detainment policy returns. One more subject added to examination list. Class X is poised to become once again the crucial year for students, just as in the 1960s and 70s.
A Bill to amend the No Detention clause in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act (the RTE) will soon be placed before Parliament, for the purpose of bringing back detention as a method of monitoring education.
On 13 May, at an education conference in Guwahati, Union minister Prakash Javadekar alerted the nation of the
‘major changes’ that have been brought about by the Narendra Modi government to improve the school education system. Inaugurating the North-Eastern Region workshop on ‘Innovations and Best Practises in School Education’ in Guwahati, Javadekar listed the important changes like ‘detainment’ in the same class and reverting to examinations for assessing academic progress of students, besides
updating NCERT textbooks, which he said, had ‘seven year old’ texts. There are curricular changes too for the senior classes.
Explaining the decision on detainment, the minister said, ‘We have taken a very important decision and we will take a call on it this month’. ‘We had a meeting of education ministers from all the States, wherein those from 25 States lamented that they were finding it difficult to improve the quality of education without examinations’, the Minister confided. He added, ‘we unanimously decided that the right to decide on detention will be left to the States and it will be done anytime soon’,
As many as 25 Indian State governments supported ‘detention’ in Class X.

Delhi HC notice to government

The Delhi High Court has sought response of the Union government on a plea seeking quashing of a CBSE circular allegedly forcing schools to prescribe text books printed by printers empanelled with the NCERT only. Justice A K Pathak issued notice to the Ministry of Human Resource and Development and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and sought their replies on the petition filed by Independent Schools Federation of India. The plea said, ‘Giving sole responsibility to NCERT textbooks for its prescriptions in schools, will not only monopolise textbook preparation in the country but shall also jeopardise the innovation associated in the making of textbooks’. It further said that NCERT neither has the mandate of publishing school textbooks, nor can it manage ensuring timely preparation and publication or textbooks in all subjects in the entire spectrum of school education, adding that the NCERT has more focused role in research and training.

National Teacher Education Registry Javadekar promised, the ministry will cloud-source suggestions for the changes to be made in the NCERT textbooks, and parents and teachers will be involved in revising school texts.
The HRD ministry released a ‘strategy document’ to build a ‘national teacher platform’. People wanting to take the Teacher Eligibility Test can take courses on the platform. The platform will work as a National Teacher Education Registry. National Council for Teacher Education chairperson Santosh Mathew said the platform would be a space where teachers can curate plans from the vast digital resources, prepare for classes and test their students.
The assessment scheme of Class 10 Board examination has been remodelled..
The change in assessment would apply for schools offering vocational subject as compulsory subject under National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) scheme. Announcing the changes in the school curriculum, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has said: The examination from academic year 2017-18 and onwards will be conducted according to the new model. Under the new scheme, students will have to study 6 subjects instead of the usual 5 subjects in class 10.
The changes proposed by the minister:
* Making class 10 board exams compulsory for the students. *A student will have two chances to clear the exam; the first exam will be held in March and the second one in June. ’If he/she fails there, he/she will be detained in the same class’, the minister said.
*A Handbook system has been introduced for teachers to monitor a child’s performance.
*Students will have to study two language papers, science, social science, mathematics, and an additional vocational subject.
If a candidate fails to pass in any one of the three elective subjects, ie. science, social science, mathematics, then it will be replaced by the vocational subject
* There will be 100 marks for each paper.
The HRD Minister said he will ensure that Buddha’s teachings reached students at all levels — primary, middle and higher — so that education was achieved in a ‘complete sense’ and not just for employment. ‘Teachings of Gautama Buddha are ideas of life (Jeevan ke Vichar). We will definitely include Buddha in our curriculum, as his teachings give a right direction to life.’.
The CBSE schools will now teach Ayurveda, Indian architecture and philosophy as a subject to the class 11 and class 12 students.
Meanwhile, In another major announcement, the CBSE has dropped its academic electives and vocational subjects from the Class 12 syllabus. For any query, candidates can check the official CBSE website.

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