Ranchi/Jamshedpur, Nov. 27: The Council of the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) announced a significant slash in the English syllabus of both ICSE and ISC, which will impact thousands of students of 110 affiliated schools in Jharkhand slated to appear for 2015 board exams.
In the recent ICSE national conference held at Science City in Calcutta, from November 21 to 23, the CISCE decided to trim the English syllabus of Classes X and XII, a longstanding demand of principals, teachers and students who had called it "too large".
Seventy principals from Jharkhand, including 20 from Ranchi and 16 from Jamshedpur, attended the meet hosted by Association of Schools for the Indian School Certificate.
The new syllabus, when it comes into effect from 2013, will be a breather for students who concentrate on science subjects to crack all-India engineering and medical entrance tests.
Students have for long wanted a smaller English syllabus to get a level-playing field with rivals from other boards competing to bag the few coveted specialised seats after Plus Two, said principals.
Reducing the English syllabus was the unanimous suggestion of principals from across India who got a chance to fill up a suggestion form on Day One of the CISCE meet.
Now, the number of prose and poetry pieces has been reduced from 15 to 10 in each category, though books subscribed for them ' Treasure Trove (prose) and Golden Lyre (poems) for Class X and Hues (prose) and Starlight (poems) for Class XII will stay the same.
However, the council rejected a proposal to withdraw the compulsory play by William Shakespeare in both Classes X and XII.
Shakespeare will stay on the course of both. But in place of the current As You Like It in Class X, Merchant of Venice will be introduced as it has been deemed easier. Macbeth in Class XII stays unchanged.
Principals have by and large welcomed the move.
Ajit Xess, St Xavier's School, Ranchi, said: "The trimmed English syllabus will affect the standard. But from the students' point of view, it will lessen their overall burden."
"In Jamshedpur, most students opt for engineering and medical entrance tests such as JEE and AIPMT during their Plus Two years. English takes a backseat, but because it is the main subject, they can't take it lightly. Reducing the syllabus comes as a big relief," said Indrani Singh, ADLS Sunshine School principal.
"We welcome the council's decision. Now, we can devote more time on other subjects," said Swarna Mishra, Dayanand Public School principal from Jamshedpur.
This apart, the duration of physics, chemistry and biology exams in Class X has been increased to two hours against 90 minutes, while the time to answer the maths paper hiked from two to two-and-a-half hours give more scope to students to think thoroughly.
Ranchi-based St Thomas school principal Rev. Joseph J. Ayrookuzhy welcomed the step, terming it "student-friendly". "Now, students will get ample time to answer maths and science subjects. Many have often complained they were unable to complete their paper due to the time crunch," he said.