Teaching Time Of English, Mathematics And Science Doubled In State-run Schools

The Odisha government has announced that classroom teaching time of three subjects – English, Mathematics and Science – would be doubled from 45 minutes to 90 minutes in all state-run schools. According to School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash, the decision was taken with an aim to improve the performance of students in these subjects.

“In subjects like English, Science and Math, the performance is a bit weak. To focus more on these subjects, we have decided to double the teaching time. That means routines will be prepared in such a way that while other subjects will get 45 minutes of teaching time (daily), these three subjects will get one-and-half hours,” said Dash.

However, the move has been criticized by numerous education experts. “We need to be very careful about children’s attention span. Doubling the time may not be learning-friendly,” said Binay Pattanayak, a former education specialist with UNICEF.

“From the learner’s perspective, the text of these subjects needs to be interesting and activity-oriented. Teacher’s preparation needs to be geared towards children’s learning,” he added.

Meanwhile, Anil Pradhan, convenor of Odisha RTE forum believes the real problem lies elsewhere. “The problem is somewhere, and the solution lies elsewhere. Learning outcomes in Odisha can be linked to absentee teachers and a variety of other factors. The minister has not consulted experts before making such an announcement,” said Pradhan.

Educationist Jatindra Kumar Nayak questioned the lack of infrastructure in state-run schools. “From the administrator’s point of view, it is easy to control time. So an order has been passed to double teaching hours. However, the state government is not bothered about the more pressing issue of space. Many of Odisha’s government schools do not have the required infrastructure like library, playground, toilets, that enable a learning environment.”

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