The state government on Thursday dissolved the 10-member expert committee on geography that looks at the subject’s syllabus and checks the final prints of diagrams, maps and content of the textbooks.
The decision was taken following a glaring error, where Arunachal Pradesh was shown as part of Chinese territory in a map in the Class 10 geography textbook of the Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education.
“The first step we have taken is to dissolve the existing expert committee on geography. This is a clear case of negligence on their part,” education minister Rajendra Darda told HT.
To rectify the error, the state board will paste stickers on the incorrect map in the 10 lakh geography books that have not been distributed yet. Students, who have bought the other 6.5 lakh books, can exchange them for new ones with the stickers.
“We will also be distributing a big map to every state board-run school to help teachers rectify the error while teaching the subject. Also, many students might not need to exchange books,” Darda said.
But academicians are sceptical of the corrective measures.
“Putting stickers in every textbook will be a time-consuming exercise. Therefore, these textbooks might take time to hit the market. The board should have just asked teachers to clarify the mistake in class,'' said the principal of a Byculla school, who refused to be named.
Rajesh Pandya, secretary of the Teachers Democratic Front, said, “It’s an impractical move. The board should keep in mind that Class 10 students are already sensitive and not create panic among them.”
The state board is also going to issue a clarification in the magazine Shikshan Sankraman, which is regularly read by teachers and educationists.
“The cartographers have admitted their mistake. The error crept in when they reduced the size of the map,” said Sarjerao Jadhav, state board chairperson.