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Students from class VI to XII will have one subject less to study from the next academic year. The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has decided to drop EVS (environmental studies) as a separate subject. In an affidavit filed with the Supreme Court, NCERT said it plans to offer environmental studies in an "infused model" rather than as a distinct subject. When environmental studies was introduced in India as a mandatory subject to sensitize children about their immediate environment, all state boards followed a similar drill: they drew up a quick curriculum, published texts and asked schools to assign the subject to the science or geography teacher. Within a year, the subject was rolled out.
Through the early years of schooling, right through to class XII. Following the NCERT affidavit, boards across the country are doing away with the new subject and clipping components of environmental studies to the existing palette of languages, maths, science and social sciences while keeping the core idea of "connecting knowledge to life outside the school" intact. Chairman of the Maharashtra State Board Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Sarjarao Jadhav confirmed that from the coming academic year, students of class IX and X will no longer be required to study EVS separately. "Students of class three to five will study environmental studies as a separate subject (as most boards don't introduce social studies or sciences till class VI). But from class VI to XII, EVS will be integrated with the sciences, the languages and social studies. The idea is to not burden students with an additional subject," said Gagan Gupta, associate professor in the science department at NCERT.EVS was introduced in schools and colleges following a December 18, 2003 Supreme Court order that directed boards to make the subject compulsory in educational institutions. In June 2005, most state boards rolled out EVS in their schools, but did not alter the overall marking matrix for the higher classes: in schools, EVS was tested internally for 50 marks, but the scores were eventually converted to a grade that was reflected in the final marks card. By including its components in existing subjects, not only has NCERT done away with a subject, but also tried to render EVS more important. Suffusing it with other subjects also means that the last-minute preparations that EVS was synonymous with, will no longer work. "Students can no longer take EVS lightly for it will now be a component of all the subjects that they are being marked for," said Jadhav.
Courtesy: Times of India
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