The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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New-look Madhyamik from 2004
- 30 years later, syllabus revamped with modern topics

The Madhyamik syllabus is finally being revised and updated — after 30 years.

An exercise by the authorities on this score — started five years ago — is complete and the change of script, to keep pace with the times, is ready to be set into motion “from the 2004-05 session”. This is the first time since 1974, when the government had introduced the present Madhyamik course, that a revamp of the syllabus has taken place.

“There is no doubt that a total restructuring of the Madhyamik syllabus was long overdue. There are many topics in the syllabus that have no relevance in the present-day context,” said Dibyendu Hota, president of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE).

“Students had to learn dated topics because we had failed to revise the syllabus whenever it was necessary. We are sorry for failing to update the syllabus at the right time and also for the inconvenience caused to millions of students,” Hota apologised.

Over six lakh students sit for the Madhyamik examinations from over 6,000 schools every year. The new inclusions in the syllabus have been designed to conform to the topics taught by the ICSEs and CBSEs, admitted a Madhyamik Board official.

For example, algebra will make its debut in the mathematics syllabus of Class VI. It’s been years since algebra was introduced from Class VI by almost all other Boards, while Madhyamik waits for a Class VII start.

“We want to start teaching algebra from Class VI like other Boards so that children can develop a preliminary knowledge of the subject from an early age. This will help us incorporate certain new topics in the corresponding higher levels,” said an official involved in restructuring the maths syllabus. New topics, like banking and income-tax calculations, will also be introduced in the maths syllabus.

The science syllabus has also been redone. The Board will now introduce general science — a combination of physics, chemistry and biology — in Class VI, whereas now students are taught only life science. Topics dealing with different kinds of pollution will be introduced in the science texts, Class VI to Class X.

Besides competing with the more ‘contemporary’ Boards, said officials, the revised syllabus will also bridge the gap between the Madhyamik and Higher Secondary levels.

Hota, meanwhile, said that from now, the Madhyamik syllabus will be revised “every three to five years”.

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