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Core Curriculum in Science and Mathematics

Allaying apprehensions over the proposal to frame a national level curriculum for science and mathematics at the higher secondary school level, Union human resource development minister Kapil Sibal on Sunday said there was no move to introduce a common curriculum in all states.

“There is great confusion in this country between a common curriculum and core curriculum. What we are proposing is that the core of the curriculum in science and mathematics should be set as per national standards. Thereafter each State can frame its own curriculum (in conformity with the national standard). We are not in favor of a common curriculum,”Sibal said.

Responding to questions from school heads after delivering the first Kuruvilla Jacob Oration organized by the Kuruvilla Jacob Initiative for Promoting Excellence in School Education here, the minister pointed out that in all states the core curriculum in science and mathematics was almost similar. “Hopefully, in 2013 we can have one exam across the country in core curriculum subjects,”he said.

Rejecting suggestions that students from certain social segments be segregated in schools, Sibal not only strongly backed the need for caste-based reservation in education but also dismissed as “unconstitutional”the concept of distinguishing the backward classes on economic lines.

Asked if it would be a good idea to grant autonomous status to schools like in the case of colleges, Sibal said the issue needed to be debated. “However, the problem is you know what institutions have done with autonomy. TN is a good example of that,”he said.

Admitting that quality of primary education cannot be same across the country, he hoped that the Right To Education Act would help bring in quality as it laid down qualifications for teachers and infrastructural needs, which need to be attained within a time-frame.

On the Comprehensive and Continuous Evaluation (CCE) concept that has been introduced in CBSE schools, the minister pointed out that the concept was misinterpreted by many. “CCE does not mean conducting examinations every 15 days. It has to do with continuously evaluating students on a host of parameters that reflect their personality. Not every child can be a genius in academics. Some can be good in music or other areas,”he explained.