CBSE to offer maths lite and maths hard

The Central Board of Secondary Education has proposed to give its Class XI and XII students the option of choosing between an easier and an advanced course in mathematics from 2019-20, subject to NCERT approval.

By Basant Kumar Mohanty
  • Published 30.06.18
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CBSE HQ in New Delhi. Picture by Prem Singh

New Delhi: The Central Board of Secondary Education has proposed to give its Class XI and XII students the option of choosing between an easier and an advanced course in mathematics from 2019-20, subject to NCERT approval.

The governing body of the board on Thursday approved a proposal to have two options - standard mathematics and advanced mathematics - instead of the single maths paper now on offer that is a mix of standard and advanced mathematics.

Sources said the logic behind the move was to offer an easier mathematics paper to humanities and commerce students who might not be comfortable with what is now taught.

Under the proposed system, the advanced mathematics paper will have more content and a higher difficulty level, three governing body members told The Telegraph.

"The idea is that students of arts and commerce may take normal (standard) mathematics. Advanced mathematics, dealing with higher maths, may be pursued by science students. It would help them in their career as well," a member said.

The CBSE has referred the matter to a committee that will design the syllabuses for both papers. However, the board will have to seek approval from the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) before rolling out the new syllabuses.

A CBSE official said the board had also introduced a separate paper - applied mathematics - for Classes XI and XII from this year under the vocational stream. This paper, which has a practical component of 20 per cent, will continue.

Last year, the NCERT had conducted a National Achievement Survey to assess the skills of Class III, V and VIII students in mathematics, environment studies and language. The survey had showed that children feared mathematics.

The NCERT is currently revising its school curriculum, which is followed by over 15 school boards across the country.

The CBSE governing body member said the final decision on the alternative maths papers might be announced by the end of this year.

Another governing body member said the syllabuses for all classes would be "rationalised" so that they were in tune with the class-wise "expected learning outcome" conceived by the NCERT six months ago. There is a possibility of reshuffling some content between classes.

"There will be no reduction in the syllabuses. There may be some additional content so that the students do not lag behind," the member said.

An NCERT faculty member said the council had received 33,000 suggestions from the public on the revision of the school curriculum. Most of the respondents have recommended the addition of content.