For ICSE students, gone are the days when teachers confiscate comic books which are secretly smuggled into the classrooms. The ICSE Board has decided to introduce books like Harry Potter, Tintin and The Hobbit in the syllabus.
However, while one education system is reaching new heights with the move, another syllabus in the country is lagging far behind — the Secondary School Certificate (SSC), which is infamous for its outdated textbooks.
Telangana Recognised School Management Association president Srinivas Reddy gives us an insight into the condition. “As per the national curriculum, it’s quite true that the state board is not up to the mark. Revision of the SSC study material was done about four years back, after 30 years! Despite the revision, the SSC does not match the standards of the ICSE or CBSE. Since this is the case, schools following this syllabus go for textbooks printed by private publishers to keep the students up to date,” he says.
“The SSC is falling behind mainly due to lack of political will,” says Telangana representative Dr Paranjyoti. He adds, “People in the government don’t know that disparity exists and don’t understand the need for timely modification. What the ICSE has done is bringing something children are already interested in into schools instead of trying hard to make them interested in what has to be taught.”
Bharath, principal of Nagarjuna High School at Raidurgam, which follows the SSC curriculum, says, “The state board cannot be very advanced and think of introducing things of popular culture like Harry Potter or The Hobbit because the State board caters to government schools and schools with the lower class of society for many of whom education may not be something their parents or relatives have grown up with. So, they can’t make the syllabus that advanced.
However, schools must try and alter the curriculum to suit the children by having other books from private publishers and through extra-curricular activities where ideas taught to them are not outdated. What the ICSE intends to do is definitely a welcome move and I hope that the SSC too sees such revisions.”
Gita Karan, principal of Gitanjali School, says, “This is a great move because we must be up to date with current affairs and trends. This will encourage inquisitiveness among students and inculcate in them the much-needed reading habit.”...