The move assumes significance as State-board students often face challenges in competitive exams
The syllabi for classes XI and XII have been revised and put up online for suggestions and feedback from those interested.
The modified syllabi are expected to be introduced in schools in 2014 (for class XI) and 2015 (for class XII).
An official of the school education department said the syllabus had been revised to bridge the disconnect between what is taught in schools and what is expected of students who go on to pursue professional courses.
“We have heard instances of students scoring brilliantly in public examinations, and then failing in the first year of college. We have also added information on new technologies such as solar power, and included concepts such as body mass index in nutrition to make it more relevant,” the official said.
The revision in syllabus becomes relevant in the context of the challenges faced by State-board students in competitive examinations such as IIT-JEE. However, experts are divided over how far the syllabus addresses these needs, especially in subjects such as physics, chemistry and maths.
Balaji Sampath, who teaches online on ahaguru.com, said an attempt has been made to cover the entire breadth of many topics in physics and chemistry. “The first chapter in the class XI physics textbook gives an overview of the subject and is rather nice, but the orientation in general must be more towards problem-solving, which is where CBSE students score over State-board students. They can drop some topics and focus more on applying the concepts,” he said.
P. Gautam, professor, Centre for Biotechnology, Anna University, said the textbooks and approach to teaching are as crucial as the syllabus itself.
Professors in medical colleges feel the new syllabus should include advances in medicine so that students who appear for medical entrance tests are up-to-date with trends. “It is necessary to update the subjects every year,” said S. Geethalakshmi, principal of Stanley Medical College.
A higher secondary teacher who handles mathematics in a government school said the transition from class X to XI is always a challenge with many lacking basic knowledge.
“The syllabus is quite advanced, with inclusions such as linear programming. I am worried we will not have adequate time to cover all the units, as the number has gone up from 10 to 12 units,” she said.
The drafts can be viewed at www.tnschools.gov.in till May 30. Teachers, educationists and the public can send their feedback to the director of State Council for Educational Research and Training at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or by post.
(With inputs from R. Sujatha)