Teachers demand withdrawal of error-ridden class 10 geography textbook

  • Puja Pednekar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 21, 2015 22:21 IST

Marking Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) separately in its map is not the only mistake in the Class 10 geography textbook of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE), geography academicians have pointed out.

The books contain incorrect facts, confusing language and more inaccurate maps, they said, causing difficulty for the students to refer to it. The teachers have demanded withdrawal of the error-ridden textbooks.

More than 17 lakh students preparing for the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams in 2016 will use this textbook.

The book contains numerous contradicting facts: Page 30 states that Sambhar lake situated in Rajasthan is the largest saline lake in the country; whereas, another page of the book states that Chilika Lake in Orissa is the largest salt-water lake in the country. "Both saline and salt-water are synonymous. Students don't know what they should write in the exam," said Ravi D, a former school teacher from Bhandup. "The board should have specified that Sambhar is the largest inland lake." Chilika lake is a lagoon.

Academicians have now called for the textbooks to be withdrawn completely. "The textbooks that have hit the market recently are only reprints of the 2014 edition. Though some mistakes from the previous edition have been corrected, new ones have been committed," said Vidyadhar Amrite, retired professor of Sathaye College, Vile Parle and member of the Mumbai Geography Teachers Association. "The government needs to come up with a new edition for 2015."

Board officials said that it will not be possible to withdraw the books, but the mistakes will be corrected. "We will inform schools through our newsletter about the mistakes and they can correct it at their level," said a senior board official. "We do not have time right now to come up with new edition of the books."

On April 15, Hindustan Times had written that experts had raised objection to the textbook as PoK was marked separately in a map on population distribution.

# Other errors in the textbook:
What is the actual length of the Ganga plain?

The length of the plain is given as 1050 kilometres on page 41. However, on the same page, length of its sub-divisions is mentioned to be 550 km for upper Ganga plain, 600 km for middle plain and length of lower plain is not mentioned. Students are confused as both length of upper and middle itself is 1050 km, but no measurement has been given for the lower section.

Where are the Eastern Ghats located?
The map on page number 69 shows the hill complexes of the Eastern Ghats such as Mahendragiri and Nimgiri are located to south of the River Mahanadi. Whereas, page number 74 mentions that these ranges are to the north of the river.

Experts said that these hills are located to the south of the river and not the north.

Are aandhi, loo and hot dust storms different?
The textbook has not made it clear that these are the names for the same phenomenon. They are being referred by different names throughout the textbook.

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