That's correct. Currently the school students have to read more than the undergraduate college students. And the Modi government is taking the much-needed initiative to reduce the school syllabus by half from the 2019 academic session.

Union Minister for Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar said in an interview on Rajya Sabha TV that the school syllabus is more than that of B.Com and BA courses. Reducing the syllabus by 50% will allow schoolchildren to get time for other activities for their all-around development. He emphasized that the students need freedom for the proper development of cognitive skills. The minister has asked NCERT to reduce the syllabus by half from the academic year 2019.

This is certainly welcome news. Schools will be able to teach their students more through hands-on teaching techniques which is very essential in today's internet-connected virtual world. School students tend to believe that they can develop skills and craft by watching videos. Experiential learning, rather than learning just through books and videos, has many advantages, and it requires time. Students remember more easily what they have done, than what they have watched or read. For example, understanding the principle of electric current flow is much simpler on a breadboard than through text and diagrams. Or even by watching the same on a video, which does not explain what happens if the battery is connected in reverse order. While doing an experiment, making mistakes also teaches in the same way as performing it correctly. This is true not just for science and engineering experiments, but also for arts like painting, dancing, singing, etc.

This is the very reason why experiential learning methods like STEM education have evolved in the past decade. STEM education is required right from the school level, because 80% of the career opportunities in the coming future will be in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Progressive schools must equip themselves with STEM education, and more importantly, the right teachers to teach STEM subjects through hands-on techniques. After all, it is experiential learning which will equip students to take up Research as a career, thereby supporting the country’s economy.

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