To Include Class V - Elementary to be Stretched to Class VIII
The Union Education Ministry has decided to include Class
V in primary schools, and, stretch elementary schooling till Class VIII instead
of closing at Class VII. This means more than just an internal re-jig
within primary and secondary schools.
For one, social studies will now be introduced in class VI, ditto with science and
School subjects have evolved through their own complicated histories. However, educationists
the world over believe that learning in the first five years of schooling should
be integrated without subject-specific compartmentalisation, and teaching children
to study concepts at earlier and earlier ages in an attempt to prepare them to compete
in the world is counterproductive, said a note from the HRD ministry.
Education Ministers have been asked to shift from a seven (4+3) to an eight year
(5+3) elementary education cycle by the next academic year. It is important to provide
age-relevant curricula and learning systems to our children, said ministry officials.
Several states also have entry age admission in Class I at age 5, rather than at
Children in these states thus face the double burden of heavy curriculum on account
of early entry into the schooling system, and introduction of upper primary subjects
at Class V itself. The ministry feels it affects the quality of learning. The faulty
curriculum structure often leads to a high failure rate adding to the number of
Most teachers felt that the government was dumbing down education in the guise of
We introduce social studies at Class III. In the current method, the system is running
smoothly. Children need to have their bearings in place, they need to know the north
and the south and the local history, said a principal of a private Mumbai school.
For state governments, an additional class in the elementary cycle will mean expanding
their overall infrastructure.
Just as in Maharashtra, state governments have invested heavily on elementary schools
(currently till class VII); there are not as many public schools at the secondary
level, forcing many children to join private institutes.
Close to 90% of the madhyamik schools are in the private sector. Bringing class
VIII to the elementary system will mean not just adding classroom, but recruiting
teachers and providing mid-day meals, said V Radha, Maharashtra's acting school
Courtesy: Times of India