KOLKATA: Though teaching-learning happened apparently seamlessly in schools, the gaps are showing. Schools know that a lot has been left undone and the going will get tough in the coming academic session. So, most are working out modules that will be first taught in the new academic session starting in April in classes VII-IX. These bridge classes will take up at least the first month and a half before the classes move on with the new syllabus.
Nearly 30% of syllabus has been reduced by both CBSE and CISCE not only for the board years but also in junior classes as the boards felt that it is impossible to teach the entire syllabus in online mode. There are many concepts that need in-class intensive contact teaching where the progress has to be physically monitored, the boards felt. Though truncated courses were worked out for junior classes also by the boards, schools had a lot of freedom to work around them because the board syllabus comes into play strictly from class IX onwards. But, most schools chose to adhere to the reduced syllabus even for junior classes.
“Teaching light in physics without ray diagrams in class VIII means you are keeping a lot of pending work for class IX. So, once physical school starts, we will have to hold special bridge classes to prepare students with concepts that had been deleted to cope with online classes,” said Seema Sapru, principal of Heritage School. Same with symmetry in maths for classes VI and VII and circulatory system in biology for junior classes.
“We are preparing power point presentations, recording live experiments and audio-visual demonstrations on topics that were deleted but will have to be taught as a stepping stone to next level,” said Rahi Mukhopadhyay, headmistress of DPS New Town. Large parts of water in chemistry, allergy and nervous system in biology, have been deleted from class-VII syllabus and will now have to be done in special classes. In most CBSE schools, despite the 30% syllabus reduction, teachers have taught all topics though they were not tested. “You cannot take away factorisation from maths and teach special products and expansion,” said a maths teacher. In classes VI-VIII, rationalisation demanded that topics like crystalisation in chemistry, reproduction in plants and large parts of geometry be taught through alternative methods but not tested. “So we allowed kids to make their own sugar crystals at home and taught geometry through alpana and got them to dissect hibiscus flowers. Now when they come back to school we will introduce them to the theory that they missed out,” said Sourav Karmakar, middle school co-ordinator of DPS Ruby Park.