Students in government schools in Assam study only for two-and-a-half hours every day at the primary level compared to five-and-a-half to six-and-a-half hours in the rest of the country, an official study has shown.
Similarly, the total number of working days in primary schools each year is 180 in Nagaland and Manipur and a maximum of 253 in Bihar and Jharkhand with lower than average literacy rates.
But in most other States and Union Territories (UT), the working days are between 201 and 220, a study conducted by the National Council of Educational Research and Training has revealed. The figures do not change substantially at the upper primary and secondary level.
The national study reviewed the implementation of the 10-year school curriculum, looking into the school system of different States and UT focussing on the structure of different school stages, agencies for curriculum construction, nomenclature of different subjects, approaches of teaching them, periods allotted, time given for annual examination, and mechanism for evaluation of curriculum.
The number of weekly teaching periods is between 19 in Madhya Pradesh to 48 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Uttarakhand, Goa, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
The duration of a class is minimum of 35 minutes in Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Nagaland and West Bengal and maximum of 45 minutes in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala, Delhi, Manipur, Puducherry, Tripura, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and Tamil Nadu.
In a majority of States/UT, there is only one recess period but there are two recess periods in Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu and Sikkim. Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Maharashtra, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Daman and Diu have three recess periods, with the duration ranging from 15 minutes in Pondicherry to 80 minutes in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
Research studies need to be conducted to see the effectiveness of variations in terms of number of working days, weekly periods, duration of periods, number of recess periods on learning outcomes and a research study needs to be undertaken to know the status of co-scholastic areas in actual practice, the study recommends.
The nomenclature of science is general science in five States/ UTs and environmental studies in the remaining 23 States/UTs. The integrated approach is followed in the teaching of environmental studies in 29 States/UTs.
Periods allotted per week for teaching the “mother tongue” in Class V is a minimum of three in Nagaland and a maximum of 13 in Maharashtra.
English has been introduced in all States/UTs in Class I with weekly periods in Class V being a maximum of eight in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Assam, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh and a minimum of three in Uttar Pradesh.
The study suggests it should be ascertained, based on research, in which class English language should be introduced for optimal gains.
Weekly periods for teaching mathematics in Class V is the highest at 12 in Andhra Pradesh and lowest (5) in Kerala, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland. Moral science is taught as a separate subject in all States.