Textbooks in Jharkhand’s tribal languages for Class 1 and 2 students will soon be made available on the central government’s e-library platform along with CBSE and NCERT academic material, officials from the state school education and literacy department said on Monday.
The e-library was launched recently under the Centre’s Digital India Mission to ensure the availability of digitised forms of books and study material for school students across the country. The website already has NCERT and CBSE books for students from classes 1 to 12.
The state had published the books last December to impart Hindi and Mathematics lessons in five tribal languages – Ho, Santhali, Mundari, Kudukh and Kharia — to local students more effectively. Tribals constitute nearly 26% of the state’s 3.29 crore population.
The books have examples that local tribal students can relate to. For example, rurally available articles such as sticks and marbles are used to carry out counting exercises instead of pencils and balls.
Soft copies of the books have been sent to the Union human resource development ministry, and will soon be made available on the website under the ‘Regional books for children’ category, said a senior official from the school education and literacy department.
“We have already sent soft copies of Jharkhand-specific books to the website coordinator. Soon, we will send soft copies of our JCERT (Jharkhand Council of Education Research and Training) books as well,” said state school education and literacy secretary Aradhana Patnaik.
The JCERT, which was set up in the state last year, will provide textbooks to all government school students here by 2017.
Sources in the education department said books published by the JCERT would have lessons on local heroes, including freedom fighter Birsa Munda, and chapters on Jharkhand-specific issues such as the Jharia underground fire. The books would be made available on the website as most CBSE and NCERT books don’t cover these issues, they added.
This is not the first time Jharkhand has taken a step towards e-learning. In a bid to boost the Digital India Mission, the state had earlier given away tablets with pre-uploaded copies of the textbooks to students of the Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBV) here.
According to the state school education department, Jharkhand has at least 212 KGBVs that function as residential schools for about 30,000 girls. The state has already distributed 8,000 tablets among KGBV students from classes 9 to 12.