The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Modern mix for HS maladies
- Current authors and community service in syllabus revamp
Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies is among the additions to the revamped HS syllabus.

Jhumpa Lahiri and Sunil Gangopadhyay; work education and community service…

The West Bengal Council for Higher Secondary Education on Friday announced a brand new curriculum in an attempt to tune in with the times. This is the first time since 1976, when the government had introduced the Higher Secondary (HS) course, that such a revamp has been undertaken.

Council president Jyotirmoy Mukherjee said the new curriculum would be implemented from the 2004-05 session in all HS schools in Calcutta and the districts. “The objective of the overhaul was to upgrade the HS syllabi and introduce a modern approach. We have done this so that our students do not have a problem in coping with the standards of the corresponding undergraduate courses taught in any other university in the country,” Mukherjee added.

The works of a host of contemporary authors have been included in the syllabi of various languages, including English, Bengali and Nepali. Sharing space with excerpts from Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies will be pieces from R.K. Narayan.

In the wake of students’ demands of a revamp, Mukherjee said the syllabi change would:

   •establish parity between the contents of the Madhyamik and HS syllabi

   •establish parity between the HS syllabi followed by the Council and those followed by its counterparts in other states, especially the ones followed by the Delhi-based Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations and the Central Board of Secondary Education

   •incorporate elements of ‘higher education’

   •make it easier for students in the science stream to compete in the joint entrance examination

Mukherjee also said it would be mandatory for HS students from next year to participate in extra-curricular activities, like work education, physical education, NCC and social and community services. Students will be assessed for the above activities on the basis of grades granted by the respective schools.

The Council has also decided to scrap the system of teaching zoology, botany and physiology separately as elective subjects. From now on, only a single subject — biological sciences — will be taught. Public administration, too, will cease to be a separate elective subject.

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