From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : NA
Mains level : Uniform curriculum in schools across India
The Supreme Court has refused to entertain a plea for a uniform and common curriculum for school students between aged six and 14 across the country rather than have diverse ones such as the CBSE, the ICSE and State Board.
Practice question for mains:
Q.Discuss the efficacy of the One-Nation- One-Board System and its limitations.
- Schools in India are mainly columned primarily into 4 boards of education, namely CBSE, ICSE and IB (International Baccalaureate).
- In total, there are 41 boards of education throughout India.
- These different boards of education have different syllabuses, which creates a knowledge gap among school students.
- To curate this gap, syllabuses of every board for the Indian schools are being brought at par.
What was the plea before the Supreme Court?
- The petition asked considering the setting up of a National Education Council/Commission and following a “one-nation-one-board” system in which the ICSE is merged with the CBSE.
- It urged a standard textbook with chapters on fundamental rights, duties, directive principles and the golden goals set out in the Preamble.
- It asked to make the study compulsory for all the children aged 6-14 years throughout the territory of India.
Why did the court refuse?
- Uniform curriculum was a “matter of policy” and the judiciary could not “command” the government said the Supreme Court bench.
Pros of common curriculum
- The Article 21A of the Constitution has the RTE (Right to Education) Act says that every child in the age of 4 to 16 should be given free and compulsory education.
- To keep a check on that, a common syllabus throughout the country is required. This will help all the students to be on par with education.
- With a common syllabus throughout the country, no student will lag behind in education and hence, this will help them prepare better for competitive examinations or admission tests beyond school level for the outside world.
- Politics, in some cases, influence the education system which is very unfair for the students. Some state boards prefer the admission of students from their own region and willingly keep the seats of colleges and universities occupied for students passing their 12th standard from their state boards.
- A common syllabus would also mean that there would be no discrimination regarding quality education on the basis of caste, creed, social, religious beliefs or economic backgrounds.
- It will provide an unbiased ground of learning and development of the young ones, which may turn out to be very beneficial in future.
- At present, some of the state boards are not updating their syllabus frequently as per the changes in society. This loophole will be eliminated with the introduction of the uniform syllabus in India.
- Students may miss learning things specific to their region and their culture. This can be a threat to diversity.
- Current school students might get affected or stressed out on a sudden change of syllabus.
- An abrupt change in the syllabus may hamper the stability of a student with the academics which will not be a good turn.
- A new set of the syllabus will bring in more workload on teachers and parents too.
- Uniform education system having common syllabus and common curriculum would achieve the code of a common culture, removal of disparity and depletion of discriminatory values in human relations.
- It would enhance virtues and improve the quality of life, elevate the thoughts, which advance the constitutional philosophy of equal society.
- Though the government has been trying to put up with equality in education, the barriers have been inevitable to date.
- A common syllabus seems to be a wise option, but it is yet to be implemented over the entire country.