Yavatmal, Apr 16: Maharashtra is seriously contempleting to make mathematics an optional subject for school students from Standard VIII in order to spare them from the phobia of the subject, state minister for School Education Prof Vasantrao Purke said.
Speaking to UNI here at his residence, the Minister said the students, generally had a fear of mathematics, apparent from the yearly increase in the percentage of failure in the subject at the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Board Examination.
''It is not a good sign and my department is seriously considering making the subject optional, right from Standard VIII,'' he said.
He suggested that a few other subjects like agriculture, computer basics, music, crafts should be added to the syllabus as compulsory subjets in place of mathematics.
Mathematics is a compulsory subject up to SSC level.
He said that in order to prepare rural students to take up diffrent vocations connected to their day-to-day life, students need exposure to suitable subjects related to their future livelihood.
To stem the recent spate of suicides among farmers in the Vidarbha region, the minister felt that priority must be given to agriculture-based education.
Mr Purke said that rural students should be trained right from the primary level so that they would ultimately opt for a subsidiary occupation along with the main occupation of farming in their future life.
''My prime concern is that the rural students are made capable of ensuring livelihood in the rural area itself for which they should be trained in some practical subjects,'' Purke said and hoped that the introduction of subjects like agriculture, dairy-farming, computer and Informational Technology, music, crafts, painting, performing arts would certainly ensure harness skills for better livelihood.'' The minister, however, said that english will be taught right from standard first and efforts would be made to encourage it.
Replying to a question on when the proposal of making Maths optional will become a reality, he said that it was under consideration and a final decision will be taken after due consultation with educationists, parents and students acros the state.
The minister has also informed that the Preamble of the Indian Constitution will be printed in all the text books in eight languages from the next academic session along with the Mahatma Gandhi's Pledge currently printed in the front page of the text books.