NCERT drops key science topics from class 10 textbooks

Due to the exclusion, students of class 10 will no longer be able to study the periodic table as part of the compulsory Science subject.

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), a Government of India-affiliated organization has dropped chapters about the periodic classification of elements from Grade 10 textbooks.

“In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is imperative to reduce the content load on students. The National Education Policy 2020, also emphasizes reducing the content load and providing opportunities for experiential learning with a creative mindset. In this background, NCERT has undertaken the exercise to rationalize the textbooks across all classes,” read a statement by the NCERT.

The chapter on the periodic table was temporarily excluded from the curriculum during the pandemic, and the NCERT has made the exclusion permanent. Science is a compulsory subject for Class 10 students who will no longer be able to study the periodic table, in addition to other banned chapters. Students who opt for chemistry as a subject in grades 11 and 12 will be able to learn the periodic table.

The decision to drop a plethora of subjects, including the periodic table comes more than a month after NCERT excluded Darwin’s theory of evolution from class 9 and 10 textbooks. The other chapters that have been banned from Science textbooks include sources of energy, sustainable management of natural resources, and popular struggles and movements.

The move to exclude Darwin’s theories was met with harsh criticism from industry experts and educators. Thousands of scientists, science teachers, educators, science popularisers and rational minded citizens condemned the directive by the NCERT. In an open letter through the Breakthrough Science Society, they said, “In the current educational structure, only a small fraction of students choose the science stream in grade 11 or 12. Thus, the exclusion of key concepts from the curriculum till grade 10 amounts to a vast majority of students missing a critical part of essential learning in this field.”.

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