Teachers’ Forum Condemns NCERT’s Decision to Remove Chapters on Climate Change
NCERT has made several changes in the curriculum for classes 6th to 12th. Image Courtesy: NDTV
New Delhi: After widespread outrage, a teacher’s forum has also stepped in to criticise NCERT for removing crucial chapters concerning climate and weather change from students' syllabus and has urged a rethink on the issue and reintroduction of the chapters.
In a statement released recently, Teachers Against Climate Crisis (TACC) highlighted said chapters on the greenhouse effect, weather, climate and popular environment movements from syllabi for classes 6th to 12th were crucial and should not have been removed.
TACC, is a non-funded, non-party organisation of college and university teachers based in and around Delhi, said they believe that the climate crisis had become one of the most pressing concerns of “our time and that systematic changes are needed at different levels, especially by youth, to tackle the crisis.”
It may be recalled that the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has made several changes in the curriculum for classes 6th to 12th to "reduce the content load" due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 30% of the syllabi have been reduced for this academic session, according to officials quoted in media reports.
Although TACC admitted that the COVID-19 pandemic had caused "disruption to regular learning schedules" and that the NCERT aimed to lessen the workload of students by removing material that duplicates other material or that which it considered "irrelevant in the present context," it asserted that the deleted chapters on other topics, such as Indian monsoons and climate change science were essential to learning.
The deleted chapters include an entire chapter on the greenhouse effect from the Class 11 geography syllabus, a chapter on weather, climate, and water from the Class 7 syllabus, and information about the monsoon from the Class 9 syllabus.
The forum also voiced concern that information about popular people's movements like the Chipko movement and the Narmada Bachao Andolan had been removed from the "Democratic Politics" syllabus as part of the "Popular Struggles and Movements" course.
TACC said, "It is extremely important that senior school students all over India are conveyed the essence of such updated information in an accessible, easy-to-understand manner."
It is crucial for the students to know how climate change and the environment interact, the monsoon patterns and the changing weather systems, said the forum, adding that they believe students must be provided with relevant, rational, accurate and up-to-date information.
TACC added that youth's actions and interventions play a critical role in understanding and tackling the climate crisis.
"This action needs to be predicated upon systematic knowledge of the reality of climate change, its causes, and its enormous reach. Students need to understand the complexity of the climate crisis if they are to respond and engage intelligently with it. In recent years, this engagement has typically begun in the classroom," the TACC statement read.
TACC stated that they had asked the NCERT to rethink its decision to remove those chapters from the syllabi and demanded that they should be reinstated. They also urged that different facets of the climate crisis be taught to all senior school students in multiple languages and disciplines, as it intersects with many.
(The writer is an intern)
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