NCERT recently dropped off some chapters from the textbooks of students. If reports are to be believed these chapters have been dropped from the textbooks of class seven, class nine and class eleventh. The chapters dropped are all climate related.
A group of teachers has urged the NCERT to reconsider these omissions from the environmental curriculum for schools and provide further information about the climate issue.
Teachers Against the Climate Crisis TACC, a non-profit, non-partisan organisation with members in universities and research institutions across India that aims to advance understanding of climate change, said it appreciates NCERT’s efforts to manage the learning deficit following the Covid-19 pandemic by attempting to lessen students’ workload by culling material, as described on its website, but the chapters should not be dropped.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a massive disruption to regular learning schedules all over the country. In the context of the ensuing ‘learning deficit’, it may seem understandable that the NCERT seeks to reduce students’ workload by culling material that overlaps with similar material or is ‘irrelevant in the present context’. However, none of these concerns applies to fundamental issues such as climate change science, the Indian Monsoon, and the other chapters that have been deleted,” the TACC said.
They in this regard issued a statement condemning the dropping of the chapters. Currently, the whole world is going through a climate crisis and students can be seen actively studying the climate. And dropping these chapters which are important can hamper their studies and knowledge about climate. Previously NCERT had also taken down other chapters like Chipkoo Movement from the class 10 syllabus.
“Becoming educated about how climate change interacts with our environment and society in a variety of ways – changing weather systems, monsoon patterns and water flows – is crucial. It is strange that NCERT has decided to remove related topics in school curricula because that’s where young people are first exposed to and develop an understanding of these issues,” said Nagraj Adve, founding member of TACC.
The group highlighted that classrooms are often the first source of such information for children, and in recent years a commitment to the climate crisis has been initiated in schools for students. “It is therefore essential that schools continue to present students with information on climate change and related topics that is accurate, up-to-date, rational and relevant,” they said.
Around the world, including India, students have become increasingly concerned about drastic changes brought about by environmental degradation, of which climate change is an example. “Youth actions and interventions are crucial to address this fundamental challenge. This action must be predicted based on systematic knowledge of the reality of climate change, its causes and its enormous scope. Students must understand the complexity of the climate crisis if they are to respond and engage intelligently,” TACC said.
It was noted that the most recent IPCC report, released earlier this year, as well as the first climate change report for the Indian region from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, released in 2020, serve as important examples of how the current science of climate change is analyzed regularly updated.
“Becoming educated about how climate change is interacting with our environment and society in a variety of ways – changing weather systems, monsoon patterns and water flows – is crucial.
“It is strange that NCERT has decided to remove related topics from school curricula because that is where young people are first exposed to and develop an understanding of these topics,” said Nagraj Adve, founding member of TACC.
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