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'Jr colleges must have dedicated geography labs'

Junior colleges which offer Geography as a subject to students of Std XI and XII will not be allowed to do so in future if they don’t have a dedicated laboratory to teach this subject in, says the new circular issued by the secretary of Maharashtra State Secondary and Higher Secondary Education department in Pune.

Geography labs
Representation pic

All zonal education departments issued the circular to junior colleges in their respective zones on February 2. With effect from the coming academic year, the education department wants junior colleges to form a separate laboratory for practical classes in Geography.

According to the education department, the syllabus for Geography in Standard XI was revised in the 2012-2013 academic year, and fresh revisions are going to be made in the Std XII syllabus in the approaching academic year. The revisions include maps, diagrams, and weather forecasts. A lab is indispensable for instruction in these aspects. The circular states that junior colleges that don’t have separate labs cannot teach the subject or conduct practical examinations in their colleges.

Dr Hemant Pednekar, former head of the department of Geography for Kirti College, and present principal of the Chintamanrao College of Commerce in Sangli said, “It was difficult for students to understand earlier how a topography map looked. But now, since a few colleges have built labs for Geography, it is easy for students to understand the subject well. Many junior colleges don’t have labs for the subject. This needs to be made
mandatory because it helps students a lot.”

Pundalik Nalawade, state board member, said, “Many junior colleges don’t have labs to teach practicals in Geography. The board realised that many schools were conducting practicals for the subject without a lab, which is wrong. The practical examination accounts for 20 marks in the subject. Hence, to do justice to the subject, the board has suggested that every school attached to a junior college, or every college make
at least a small lab where there will be instruments required to teach geography practicals.”

Officialspeak
B Mane, south zone education inspector, said, “The Std XI syllabus for Geography changed last year, but the syllabus for HSC students will change in the academic session 2013-2014. In order to make sure that students understand the subject better, the state education department has asked all the principals and headmasters of state-aided as well as unaided schools and junior colleges to open a separate laboratory for Geography to make the students understand the subject better." 

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