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The Evolution of CBSE Curriculum for Primary Education

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is the largest and the most popular education board in India. Close to 38 lakh students appeared in the recently conducted board exams for the year 2023. As per estimates, there are more than 20,000 schools affiliated with the CBSE in India.

The margin of leadership that the CBSE board enjoys can be gauged by the fact that compared to CBSE, the closest competition, the ICSE board, has affiliations with just 2,213 schools, and the international Cambridge board has just 310 schools all over India. The popularity of the CBSE board is not just limited to India. CBSE schools can be found in more than 25 countries across the world. This is a true testament to the increasing popularity of the CBSE board worldwide.

To keep up with their popularity and relevance, the CBSE board needs to keep evolving and updating its curriculum. The demands of the industrial world and life in general are evolving rapidly. This changes the soft and hard skills individuals need to live successfully and happily outside of the classroom.

Hence, the curriculum being taught in class needs to evolve at a matching pace.

This blog highlights such evolutionary areas when it comes to the most recent updates in the CBSE board curriculum.

Also read : CBSE’s Approach to Inclusive Education for Children with Special Needs

Key Features of the CBSE 2023-24 curriculum

For its latest curriculum update, CBSE has adopted the National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage 2022. Schools have been advised to adhere to the recommendations made about curriculum coverage, pedagogy, assessment methods, etc. Various innovative strategies such as experiential learning, integration of art in education, and other modern pedagogical plans must be followed by the affiliated schools as much as possible. Sample papers have been provided by CBSE on its website for schools, educators, and students to refer to for a better understanding of what CBSE is expecting in terms of exam patterns, types of questions, evaluation and marking schemes, etc.

Objectives of the 2023-24 CBSE Curriculum

With this new update to the 2023-24 curriculum, CBSE intends to achieve certain long and short-term objectives. Some of these are as follows:

  • Create an environment of holistic development, balancing physical, intellectual, and social development
  • Promote practical learning, constructivist and analytical thinking and eliminate the traditionally followed pattern of rote learning
  • Focus on promoting application-based competency development of concepts
  • Promote future skills such as financial literacy, digital literacy, life skills, health and wellness, disaster management, citizenship, etc.
  • Promote vocation-based learning and strengthen livelihood-based employability skills
  • Incorporate pedagogical methods that are experiential, activity-based, and toy-based, and involve storytelling and gamification as essential ingredients of learning.

Content Rationalisation

Another key thrust area of this curriculum evolution is the rationalisation of content to reduce the burden on the students and instead deliver more focused learning. With this theme, curriculum content has been rationalised as follows:

  • Overlapping content between subjects has been rationalised
  • Overlapping content between lower and higher classes for the same subjects has been rationalised
  • Certain content has been rationalised based on their difficulty level (too difficult or too easy)
  • Content conducive to self-learning has been rationalised
  • Irrelevant or outdated content given the present scenario and market needs have been rationalised

Also read : Challenges and Opportunities in Implementing CBSE Curriculum in Rural Areas

Key Changes in the 2023-24 curriculum

Below are some of the key highlights of the changes made in the CBSE 2023-24 curriculum.

  • The syllabus has been reduced by around 25%-30%. Instead of removing complete topics, topics have been made ‘lighter’ by removing unnecessary or irrelevant sub-topics.
  • A new elective, Applied Mathematics, has been added to Group A
  • The pre-pandemic format of a single annual exam has been restored

Specific Changes in the curriculum for classes 10, 11 and 12 are as follows:

Changes in the Class 10 curriculum

  • English: A new textbook “ Words and Expressions” has been added along with slight changes to the marking scheme.
  • Social Studies: A new textbook “Learning Outcomes at the Secondary Stage” has been added.
  • Science: A new textbook “Assessment of Practical Skills” has been added

Changes in Class 11 curriculum

  • The number of practicals has been reduced, from 15 to 12

Changes in Class 12 curriculum

  • Biology: A new textbook “Biology Supplementary Material” has been added. A new term “Sacred Groves” has been added.
  • Chemistry: The topic “Solid State” has been added in the form of Unit 1. The portion on “Cyanides and Isocyanides” has been removed. New topics in Polymers and Polymerization have been added in Unit 15. The total number of practicals has been altered and some practicals have been removed.
  • Physics: The number of practicals has been increased to 6. Some portions from the syllabus have been rationalised.
  • Political Science: A lot of addition/deletion in chapters has happened.

The following elements remain unchanged:

  • Course structure
  • Unit-wise marks distribution
  • Question paper format
  • Types of questions
  • Question paper pattern

Changes in the 2023 question pattern:

  • MCQs – 40% weightage
  • Subjective-type questions – 40% weightage
  • Competency-based questions – 20% weightage

Also read : Future Trends and Innovations in CBSE Education

EuroSchool’s journey with the CBSE curriculum has been a story of continuous growth and innovation. Our commitment to providing a well-rounded and future-focused education stays strong as the curriculum keeps evolving.

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