A syllabus is a document or an important tool that outlines all the essential information about a course. It will typically give a brief overview of the course objectives, course expectations, list reading assignments, homework deadlines, and exam dates. It is prepared by expert faculties following the curriculum. The syllabus creates a road map for a course, lets learners know what to expect, establishes a rationale, shares grading strategies, and provides learners resources.
Previously the components of the syllabus were stagnant for a very long period of about 34 years. But, after the Government has approved the ‘New India Literacy Programme’ (NIPL) aiming to provide education for all and covering all aspects of education for non-literates of 15 years and above, it will be making education system for schools and colleges more flexible, holistic, eclectic and multidisciplinary which brings out a relation is to create a symbiotic relationship between actions, skills, learning, critical thinking and performance of a student forming the basis of any curriculum given and for its successful completion.
The old education system was based on the (10+2) structure which will be replaced by the new (5+3+3+4) pattern. In this policy, the pattern comprises 12 years of school and 3 years of Anganwadi/ pre-school. The new NEP (The National Educational Policy) is based on Access, Equity, Quality, and Accountability. It focuses on reconstructing the school curriculum with ‘revised’ Board exams, a reduction in the syllabus to maintain the core essentials, and creating a striking balance between IQ, EQ, SQ, and Motor Skills.
The new structure is designed in the interest of learners at different stages of their development such as 3 to 8, 8 to 11, 11 to 14, and 14 to 18 years. Till the 5th grade, the emphasis will be on the local language/ regional language/ mother-tongue as a medium of instruction. Mathematical Thinking and Scientific Coding will start from the 6th grade and Vocational Education is also starting including internship. At school and higher education, Sanskrit will also be included at all levels as an option for students which includes three language formulas. Literature of India and other Classical / Regional languages are also being taught as an available option.
Now the ‘Higher Education’ also plays an important role and it will receive flexibility in subjects. There will be multiple entries and exit points with appropriate certification/diploma available. HECI (Higher education commission of India) will be the only body for the entire higher education (except medical and legal education). HECI will have 4 independent verticals such as NHERC (National higher education regulatory council) for the directive, GEC (General education council) for standard-setting, HEGC (Higher education grants council) for sponsoring, and NAC (National Accreditation Council) for granting and recognition. All stages mentioned above will incorporate Indian and regional traditions, ethical reasoning, socio-emotional learning, quantitative and logical reasoning, digital literacy, computational thinking, scientific tamper, languages, and communication skills properly. In the new curriculum subjects like speaking, reading, writing, physical education, languages, art and craft, vocational skills, in addition to science, humanities, and mathematics will be included throughout the curriculum with a consideration for what is interesting and learning with fun and safe at each age where there will be an association between the student's psychological traits and curriculum’s pedagogy and assessment with an initiative to also include extracurricular activities.
The syllabus is very different for many educational boards. And also after the implementation of the new ‘Education Policy,’ the school curricula and pedagogy are in a new design pattern so that the school education system can be made more relevant and interesting for the students of all different developmental stages. All subjects will be considered as curricular rather than extra or co-curricular which includes yoga, sports, dance, music, sculpting, woodworking, gardening, and electric work. The selection criteria of the syllabus have to be made considering various educational boards like - CBSE, ICSE, STATE BOARDS, IGCSE, and IB.
CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education):- It follows a concrete curriculum guided by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). It is a government organization that is made up to assist contextual and social-psychological improvement in school education, intending to develop a common educational system. NCERT has the responsibility to prepare syllabi and publish the textbooks as per the NCF (National Curriculum Framework) so that these subjects could be absorbed in the curriculum which SCERTs (State Councils of Educational Research Training) of states may edit, rewrite, and supplement as per their needs.
- CBSE and various State Boards are now following the NCERT textbooks for classes 1 to 12 in their academic curriculum.
- Various competitive examinations like IIT, NEET, UPSC, AIEEE, AIPMT, KVPY, and CSIR-NET are fundamentally based on the CBSE syllabus. It has been recommended to relate to the NCERT books.
ICSE ( Indian Certificate of Secondary Education ):- It follows a spiral curriculum where the basics are taught first to the students and more detailed versions are taught later. Also, the syllabus of ICSE is more meticulous and comprehensive compared to CBSE because of the very detailed syllabus to study all the subjects. It focuses on improving analytical thinking and on problem-solving skills, helping students to learn and increase their critical thinking from gathering knowledge, acknowledging concepts through senses, and applying the practical approach in real-life situations.
- Going by the hierarchical taxonomy, It’s unnecessary to mention that ICSE also gives a disclosure to the students to get how to prepare for the Indian Competitive Examinations and also for taking up for International Examinations like the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), especially for its immense focus on the English Language.
STATE BOARDS:- Each state of India presents its syllabus and evaluation system. The syllabus focuses more on the state’s theme, culture, and regional language. Nevertheless, they generally go with NCERT prescribed syllabus textbooks.
- IB (International Baccalaureate) shares a common goal - A commitment to improving the quality of teaching and learning of diverse learners and inclusive communities of students by delivering challenging, high-quality professional learning and programs of international relevance and education that share a powerful vision.
It comprises of four academic programs -
- The Primary Years Programme (PYP)l
- The Middle Years Programme (MYP)
- The Diploma Programme or Certificate
- The IB Career-related Certificates (IBCC)
In the end, Syllabus is a term of education considered a descriptive summary of a particular subject in which the student can know the topics, assignments, and schedule of a subject by reading the syllabus to which learners are exposed. Designing the syllabus is not an easy task to perform because of its significant and complex role. However, it satisfies a lot of needs since it has a multi-functional purpose. It should never contain any grammatical errors. It should cover the portion of what topic should be taught in a particular subject, the rules, policies, and instructions. It also has to be the most relevant language discourses that will supply learners' target requirements.