Friday, September 24, 2021
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Books should carry more info and less correction

Balbharti’s school textbook release created a number of unwanted controversies and there is no end solution but there is a need to change the text of the book with proper corrections. With the introduction of a revised syllabus for Class 10 at the state board this year, Balbharti released a new set of textbooks that were found to be full of different kinds of error. It is revealed that in science textbooks, there are glaring issues like incorrectly written chemical formulae and wrongly marked diagrams. The chapter on reproduction mentioned a part of the male genital tract as part of the female genital tract.

Apart from this, the Constitution of India has been written as ‘Constitution of Indian’ in the history and political science textbook. The history and political science textbook have several grammatical errors, like split being misspelled as spilled. There are also factual errors like the claim that the “none of the above” (NOTA) option was extended to voters with the introduction of electronic voting machines (EVMs), which is incorrect. Corrections follow all these blunders and it appears rather silly rather than a printer’s devil or mistakes with a minimum deviation of the facts.

Taking a serious note of the lapse, the State government sought clarification. It is very unfortunate to see not just silly typos, but also major factually inaccurate information in the book. For instance, the mix up with the representation of the female reproductive system by claiming a particular organ to be a part of the track, while in reality, it is only part of the male reproductive system. The issue here is the repetitive nature of these errors that come by every year. The authorities at Balbharati should really take a strong step to curb this. It is time to make the textbooks more interesting with contents carrying negligible mistakes. We need children to learn the correct facts in this competitive world.

Although Balbharti through the Maharashtra school textbooks bureau issued a 27-page list of corrections, barely three months after it released the new Class 10 books, a reality check and raised the questions about the facts in these books reaching the students in a very dubious way. To understand the root of the problem of the revised textbooks for some of the key subjects — history and political science, geography, science and technology, and mathematics. A panel of experts, including parents and teachers who were asked to go through the revised textbook over a period of two weeks, have meanwhile flagged the deteriorating level of education and the fear that children may learn wrong facts and concepts.

Children often mock textbooks because of errors. With so many loopholes, there seems to be no respect for the text at all. Many students who study in state board come from civic schools. They may find it difficult to understand new concepts because they may have no support at homes, and also because teachers are themselves struggling to understand the new additions. The pity is that his year, the entire emphasis of the history textbook seems to be on rote learning, with the book filled with just facts. Each chapter introduces a stray concept with no link with what has been taught earlier. Balbharti bungled and now tries to restore order.

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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