Add the Concepts of Slope and Logarithms to CBSE 9th and 10th Math Curriculum

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In Intermediate (11th and 12th) schools across the country (India), there are MPC-Stream (Math, Physics, Chemistry) students aspiring to write the respected JEE Mains and JEE Advanced exams. These are college entrance exams and thus require rigor and deep understanding of the subject matter. Many students enter 11th grade having hopes of doing well in these exams. However, even top students quickly start to fall behind and begin having difficulties with the subject matter, especially math. This is not because of their abilities, but because of large issues in the CBSE math curriculum. 

Proper fundamental concepts become essential tools for every question you solve in 11th and 12th. Take any JEE Mains questions and you will see that only the first 2 or 3 lines actually require 11th and 12th concepts, the rest of the question just involves smart and skillful usage of concepts from 8th, 9th and 10th. Also, many higher concepts require such fundamental concepts as vital prerequisites. I can’t emphasize enough on vital here. You can't learn Calculus without learning about slope. You can't solve mechanics problems in physics without trigonometry. You can't understand 3D Geometry without first understanding the 2D Cartesian plane. Any attempt to do these without the prerequisites would end in blatant rote-learning with no deep feel for the topic, eventually leading to dislike for the topics, which in turn leads to low scores.

This campaign mainly focuses on, what I believe to be, the two concepts that have the most impact and which have either been completely neglected or have not been given enough importance.

  • One huge topic, logarithms, has been completely left out from the syllabus. When students enter 11th grade, they are bombarded with questions that involve logarithms and logarithmic operations in maths, physics and chemistry. But a majority of the students don't know what these logarithms are! That's because this essential topic, which should ideally be taught to students in 9th or 10th grade, has been ignored. I suggest the addition of an entire chapter dedicated to logarithms to the 9th or 10th grade math syllabus.
  • Another case is the concept of slope. This is an extremely fundamental concept in algebra and graphs, and has a wide range of applications in physics as well. Although this is taught in 11th grade under the topic "Straight Lines", it is a very important concept and I believe that it should be taught earlier. In fact, this is taught in the same year as derivatives, a more complex application of slope.  How can students expect to master these other topics if they aren't even strong in the basics? There is a chapter in 10th grade mathematics called "Co-ordinate System" and I strongly believe that the concept of slope should be taught in that chapter itself, so that students feel confident with the topic when they come to 11th. 

I am currently a 11th grader, and I have personally seen so many students face problems due to this. One day, when our chemistry teacher asked some students where they were going wrong with calculating pH, they said that they didn't know how to calculate log values, a vital part of the calculation. This goes to show that if a student isn't strong in such concepts, the negative effect of not knowing the concept increases exponentially in higher classes.

I hope that CBSE considers these suggestions and implements these changes in the interest of the entire student body of India. These changes will benefit students in countless ways, including building their confidence with the more complex topics that they will deal with in higher classes. It will be a small step towards a better education system for citizens across the country.

 



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