The state school education department will revamp the syllabus and assessments for subjects that are awarded grades instead of marks in classes 9 and 10 from the next academic year.
These include subjects such as work experience, information and communication technology, health and physical education, personality development, career guidance and national cadet corps (NCC).
To begin with, the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education has called for feedback from teachers and principals. They have been asked to fill an online survey before October 5.
Currently, students have a written exam for 11 main subjects and five other graded subjects in Class 10. Only ICT is a board level exam and the rest are held at the school level.
The survey asks schools whether they have trained and specialised teachers for these subjects and if practical and project based evaluation needs to be implemented. The survey also asked teachers whether life skills or career awareness subjects should be introduced. The survey also questioned if compulsory written exam is adding to the students’ stress.
School principals in Mumbai said that restructuring these courses is the need of the hour. “Schools are not teaching these courses seriously, since they are grade based,” said Father Jude Fernandes, principal, St Mary’s School (SSC), Mazgaon.
Fernandes said schools take the subjects lightly because they are assessed internally.”The board should make external examiners compulsory for these subjects so that there is transparency in assessment,” said Fernandes.
Often schools don’t even have qualified or separate teachers for these subjects. “Aided schools don’t get approval for too many teachers and as a result a teacher teaching history or science ends up teaching all graded subjects,” said Father Francis Swamy, joint secretary, Archdiocesan Board of Education, which runs 150 odd schools in Mumbai.