The NCERT has decided to upgrade its website into a 'virtual academy', with facilties to take online practice tests, as well as increase the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for training teachers and imparting education in far flung areas. In recommendations which will be sent to the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the NCERT has said that it also wants to include changes in the mathematics and science curriculum for Class IX and reduce the higher secondary school syllabus by as much as 15% in a bid to reduce pressure on teachers from the increasing number of students. These recommendations form part of a report prepared by NCERT's education experts at the two-day National Conference on Assessment and Improvement of Science and Mathematics Education which concluded here on Wednesday. The conference was organised by the Department of Education in Science and Mathematics (DESM).
V P Srivastava of DESM explained the reasoning behind the enhanced website, 'The idea is that those who are out of school system, including adults, can login and learn from the interactive content on the site. Similarly, the enrolled students can take tests online and get instant evaluation. Currently, the website only provides sample questions.' The 'virtual academy', inspired by the web-based interaction system used by IITs, will be an addition to the existing ICT infrastructure which includes the satellite education (EduSat) programme.