CBSE Syllabus: Disadvantages For Parents And Children, Advantages For Schools And Publishers

NCERT syllabus is pre-historic and aimless. But, it does exist. CBSE syllabus is even worse off. It is non-existent and a free-for-all. On the face of it, the students seemingly study and of course, get through the entrance exams. However, CBSE syllabus disadvantages for parents and children, advantages for schools and publishers, are massive.

The Non-Existent CBSE Syllabus

CBSE is the Central Board of Secondary Education, a legacy of the British era, set up in 1929. CBSE’s only responsibility is to conduct exams of XII and X and give affiliation to schools for just these two exams. CBSE does not get into the syllabus. That’s not the job of CBSE at all. It has no say in the syllabus taught in the CBSE affiliated schools.

CBSE does recommend the NCERT syllabus for Board exams, and if there is even one private CBSE-affiliated school that teaches NCERT syllabus then elephants fly, whales walk and birds swim. CBSE has zilch control over the private schools, not just for syllabus but for any purpose – including the fees, teachers’ salaries, management, theĀ weight of school bags etc.

For us, education has become synonymous with exams. The most important exams are the Board exams, XII and X, conducted by CBSE. So, we presume that the syllabus studied for the CBSE exams is the CBSE syllabus. Just that, CBSE has got nothing to do with the syllabus of these exams or for that matter any exam.

CBSE has no association with exams of standards I-IX and XI. Now, because the parents incorrectly presumed the CBSE syllabus for the board exams, the erroneous presumption goes further. And, the syllabus for the other standards also gets called the CBSE syllabus. In reality, the CBSE has no role in the syllabus of I-IX and XI, similar to X and XII.

So, what do the students study? They seem to study quite a lot, after all. Enter the CBSE syllabus disadvantages for parents and children, advantages for schools and publishers.

Disadvantages For Parents

As adults, parents haggle for discounts all around. When it comes to the child’s syllabus books, there is no discount, only inflated MRPs. The parents’ pay the astronomical sum assuming that the child is getting a quality education and this IS the biggest disadvantage for the parents.

The price of the syllabus in the private CBSE affiliated schools has no link with the learning inside the books. The private publishers’ puts in the stuff irrelevant to the child’s age-appropriateness/real-life learning to make the pages. Simultaneously, they also glaringly miss out on hands-on and experiential life learning syllabus components.

As a result of this purposeless syllabus, the child gets ill-prepared for real life, gets burdened with unnecessary frills and loses out on childhood. And, all the time parents think that their child is being educated. Leave aside value-for-learning as a parents’ notion, the high-priced syllabus is throwing good money for no apparent benefit, rather causing harm to the child.

Advantages For Schools

You get to carry the logo of the Government – CBSE. Nobody will distrust you. You get to flout the CBSE directive of using the NCERT syllabus. Nobody will hold you to task, neither CBSE nor NCERT, rather nobody will even care to know about it. You can sell a syllabus of your liking and at your price. Nobody dares question you.

For the private hospitals, there is a danger of a patient dying and they get bad publicity. For the private schools, there is absolutely no risk. The brain-washed students tell no tales. The gullible parents are at the mercy lest the child’s future will be ruined. No better business in India than running a private CBSE affiliated school.

Advantages For Publishers

There ain’t no regulations, nobody to supervise, no accountability, rather no deliverables, other than the inflated MRPs. The private publishers for the private CBSE affiliated schools have absolute price-control, a monopoly market, loyal customers of unquestioning parents and students, who don’t even know what hit them.

I am not casting any aspersions on private publishers. I am just saying that it is extremely difficult for any business operating in the environment mentioned above to operate in a manner that is beneficial to anyone, other than themselves. There is no incentive at all to let a child be a child and enjoy childhood, rather perverse reasons to burden the child with more and more books.

Disadvantages For Children

The CBSE is pedalling exams, private publishers’ are hawking their syllabus, the schools are merrily collecting their profit margin on the syllabus books, the parents are blissfully unaware that their child has no learning from this purported syllabus. Who the heck is bothered about the child and the child’s learning?

The whole process sucks the childhood out of the children, much before they are ready with no ensuing gain. The kids get locked up in the four walls of the classrooms/screens of the apps as the syllabus keeps multiplying with no learning at the end of it. Can there be any advantages to children in this entire muddle?

The Free-For-All CBSE Syllabus

IGCSE/IB boards endorse their syllabus. CBSE doesn’t bother with such finer points. Hence, the CBSE syllabus disadvantages for parents and children, advantages for schools and publishers. Of course, the situation is not that dismal as I have made it out to be. It is a work-in-process; we shall surely reach there once, if not now.

We, as a society, care about exams and marks. What importance is a trivial syllabus? CBSE, too, cares about board exams only. What value is getting into a frivolous syllabus? The government of India comes up with a glorious New Education Policy (NEP). Why get hung up about an inconsequential aspect of the syllabus?

In the mean-while, the private publishers and the private CBSE affiliated schools, carry on with their free-for-all syllabus. Our children keep getting educated, wonder how/what is this learning?

What are your views on the subject of the CBSE syllabus disadvantages for parents and children, advantages for schools and publishers?

PS: I am a stay-at-home father to six-year-old twin daughters, neither an educationist nor an expert, just growing up together with my children. The above thoughts are an expression of parenting is having an opinion, getting involved and trying to better.

Stand UP, Speak OUT!!! #IAmAParent.

Why NCERT Does Not Publish A Preschool Syllabus

NCERT published a preschool curriculum in December 2019. That’s pretty strange. The reason being NCERT is a syllabus publishing organization. It has published the syllabus of Class I-XII. Its textbooks are considered a bedrock of India’s beloved entrance exams. CBSE’s board exams are based on NCERT textbooks. Then, why NCERT does not publish a preschool syllabus, meaning textbooks?

I have gone through the NCERT preschool curriculum, a huge letdown for the children of India and also the NCERT syllabus of Class I. Basis these two documents, I feel there could be three reasons why NCERT does not publish a preschool syllabus.

NCERT Does Not Factor Preschool For Class I syllabus

NCERT Class I syllabus was published in 2005 – when the world had not heard of Apple’s iPhone or WhatsApp/Instagram and there was no Amazon/Facebook in India. Yes, it is difficult to believe, but in 2021, the children of India study the same textbooks that the children studied in 2005. This actually makes NCERT class I textbooks a candidate to compete with dinosaurs.

The primordial nature of NCERT Class I textbook has consequences for the NCERT preschool syllabus. Let me explain in detail. When do kids learn alphabets A-Z and numbers 1-10 today? In preschools. At the age of 3-5 years. Rather, the private preschools can even go on to teach 4-5 letter words and numbers up to 500 to 3-5 year olds.

However, as per NCERT, the children are to be taught alphabets A-Z and numbers 1-10 in class I syllabus textbooks. Now, in that case, what to put in the preschool syllabus? NCERT can’t include the alphabets and the numbers. If it does, the class I syllabus needs to be changed. And if NCERT does change the class I syllabus, then it will have to change the class II syllabus too.

So, what’s the solution? Not publish a preschool syllabus, but a preschool curriculum – gibberish and perplexing document, which nobody can comprehend. This is the prime reason that NCERT does not publish a preschool syllabus as the Class I syllabus does not factor in the preschool existence. To cover up that gaffe, NCERT screws up the preschool syllabus.

A meaningful preschool syllabus would mean that all the NCERT syllabus textbooks from I-XII will have to take in a cascading change. It is, of course, anyways due for a course correction. But, NCERT won’t engage in such a large-scale update. So, the preschool syllabus becomes the scapegoat.

Preschools Are A Law Unto Themselves

CBSE conducts board exams – X and XII. It gives affiliations to schools for their students to appear for the board exams. However, it does not get into the preschools’ affiliation. Ditto for State Boards – They too don’t get into preschools. India has numerous preschools dotting nooks and corners of each city/town, but no education board has them in their fold.

So, for all practical purposes, preschools function merrily on their own, independently, with no accountability to anyone – on what/how they treat and teach the kids. Preschools aren’t hung up about syllabus and all such rubbish. Why bother when there is nobody to ask? NCERT is very much aware of this situation.

Even in CBSE-affiliated private schools, how many of them actually follow NCERT textbooks? None. NCERT knows this, as well. A fellow Government organization working in the same domain, which has regulatory powers, can’t make private schools follow NCERT textbooks. What’s the probability that private playschools, whom nobody regulates, will follow the NCERT syllabus? Zilch. Absolute Zero.

So, what does NCERT do? Just publish a curriculum, go around the country claiming that it has successfully guided the preschools, and go back to slumber. Rather than having an egg on the face by preschools not following your textbooks, better not to waste the efforts. So, NCERT does not publish a preschool syllabus.

The Curriculum Development Team

There are 25 subject experts on the curriculum development team – 16 professors and two of them are even retired professors. No doubt, all of them would be distinguished academicians but when in life would have they last dealt with 3-5 year olds directly, hands-on? What would be their memory of seeing kids in action, leave aside today’s kids?

What would you trust professors with? College education, not the preschool variety. But, NCERT does exactly the opposite and the results are for everyone to see. This team can’t comprehend the two generations gap, not even one, with today’s kids and comes up with a lofty document that has no valid reason to exist.

This seems to be the third reason that NCERT does not publish a preschool syllabus because the people NCERT employed can’t bend down to the level of 3-5 year olds, figuratively and literally.

The Self-Designed Syllabus

With the above state of affairs of indifferent NCERT and imperious private preschools, what should/can a parent do? Come up with one’s own preschool syllabus. Sounds exciting and challenging? It surely is.

Here is the preschool syllabus, sort of, that my wife and I came up with for our twin daughters.

PS: I am a stay-at-home father to six-year-old twin daughters, neither an educationist nor an expert, just growing up together with my children. The above thoughts are an expression of parenting is having an opinion, getting involved and trying to better.

Stand UP, Speak OUT!!! #IAmAParent.