Achala Verma, PGT Mathematics at Birla Balika Vidyapeeth, Pilani, explains that lack of awareness about the subject led to fewer takers. “There were no takers for the subject as an elective, in my school last year. This year also, only a handful of students have opted for it,” says Verma. On why this was the case, Verma reasons that students are clueless about the career prospects after studying Applied Mathematics. “Most students opt for subjects that offer a lucrative career opportunity. Hence, students need to be apprised about the future of Applied Mathematics,” says Verma.
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Besides, the subject was introduced by the Board when the Covid-19 pandemic kept schools closed, says Vivek Choudhary, PGT Mathematics at a Faridabad-based school. “Closure of schools took a huge toll as students and teachers both were clueless about the syllabus. Communication with students and parents was another challenge during the virtual mode of education. Having detailed information might have helped us in spreading awareness about the subject,” says Choudhary.
Unavailability of textbooks is a major challenge for both teachers and students, says Choudhary. “Majority of us rely on NCERT textbooks for the board exams and other competitive examinations. But no dedicated books for Applied Math has been published yet,” says Choudhary, adding that study materials provided by the CBSE on its website are good, but more study material is needed.
When contacted, a source on condition of anonymity at NCERT says, “We have been frequently getting queries from parents and students for Applied Mathematics books. The books are not getting published as the Central government is yet to send the proposal for the publication of the books. “The matter will be discussed in the forthcoming meeting and once NCERT gets a nod from the government authorities, we will start the publication of books.”
Applied Mathematics includes topics such as Number Theory, Interpretation of Data, Analysis of Data, Commercial Mathematics, Set Theory, Relation and Function, Algebra, Trigonometry, Fundamentals of Calculus, Logical Reasoning, Commercial Mathematics, Probability, Linear Programming, Analysis of time-based Data, etc that are covered in the syllabus for class XI-XII students.