Teachers concerned about move to make maths optional

Kathmandu, June 9

Teachers of mathematics have expressed concern about the government’’s decision to make mathematics optional in Grade XI and XII. They have said that making mathematics optional will have a serious impact on students’’ education in the long run.

Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel on June 1 had informed that as per National Curriculum Framework, there would be an integrated curriculum from Grade I to III and a single track curriculum from Grade IX to XII. NCF doesn’t include applied mathematics as a compulsory subject in Grade XI and XII.

The draft of the framework was finalised by the board that included members of National Curriculum Development Board and the Evaluation Council chaired by the Minister for Education.

“Mathematics is a must for school curriculum,” said Binod Prasad Pant, assistant professor of mathematics at Kathmandu University.

To crack the entrance test of agriculture, forestry and computer science at the university level, students must secure pass marks in mathematics. “The decision  making mathematics an optional subject will close the doors for the students to study agriculture, forestry, computer science and mathematics at the university level,” said Kedar Nath Uprety, head of the Central Department of Mathematics, Tribhuvan University.

The stakeholders, therefore, have demanded that the government make necessary changes in the curriculum so that it will not shut the doors of opportunities for students.

“The university will now either have to make a different curriculum or change its provisions for entrance examinations and higher education. This will create conflict. Students will also have difficulties entering in engineering field. Students taking biology as a major subject till now take mathematics as optional subject to get entrance in engineering. It will nullify all such provisions as the students are allowed to make choice between biology and mathematics as per the new curriculum. Mathematics is the backbone of science and technology. Without studying mathematics, study of science and technology is not possible. The government is violating the right of children to get quality education,” added Uprety.

“Instead of removing the subject, it is necessary to provide practical education of mathematics to students,” said Pant.

“Mathematics has been included as an optional subject for school students in the new curriculum. It is taken as a difficult subject. This is why the subject has not been made compulsory for all,” said KhubiramAdhikari, information officer at Curriculum Development Centre.