Balbharti bloopers: Correct errors first, then grammar, say Mumbai experts
After Balbharti releases a 27-page list of corrections, teachers and parents flag more wrong concepts, methodology.Updated: Jul 31, 2018 15:16 IST
Although Balbharti – the Maharashtra school textbooks bureau – issued a 27-page list of corrections on July 3, barely three months after it released the new Class 10 books, a reality check by HT revealed that a lot of errors — both grammatical and in the content —still remain.
While state education minister Vinod Tawde had said the new books will put the state education board syllabus at par with national boards, the corrections were issued after experts and parents wrote to Balbharti, pointing out the glaring errors in the ‘revised’ text released in April. Teachers have been asked to ensure the corrections are communicated to students, and Balbharti has said all the errors will be fixed by the next edition.
- There will be separate forms available for claims, objection and correction at NRC ‘seva kendras’ (NSKs) and can also be downloaded from www.nrcassam.nic.in from August 7, 2018
- Only those applicants who had submitted NRC applications until August 31, 2015 can submit claims but objections can be submitted by anyone.
- Claims can be submitted only at the NSK where the claimant had submitted their application. Even if the applicant has changed address after submitting application, they will need to submit claim only at the NSK where the application was first submitted.
- Objections can be submitted only at the NSK covering the residence of the person against whom the objection has been submitted.
- If an applicant wants to know reason for non-inclusion of names, they will need to submit an application to LRCR at the designated NSK asking for the reason for non-inclusion of name in the complete draft. This process will start from August 7, 2018 to September 28, 2018.
- Claims and objections can only be submitted at the NSKs and not online. Corrections, however, can also be made online.
SHOBHA RAMANA, retired history teacher from Father Agnel Multipurpose School, Vashi
To understand the root of the problem, HT attempted a detailed review 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.
Shobha Ramana, retired history teacher from Father Agnel Multipurpose School, Vashi, who has witnessed various curriculum changes since 1995, said there are many issues with the text, apart from just spelling mistakes. “This 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,” she said.
Sujata Ganesan, a parent, also pointed out that with such error-riddled texts, children may not take the texts seriously. “Children often mock textbooks because of errors. With so many loopholes, there seems to be no respect for the text at all,” said Sujata Ganesan, a parent.
The principal of a Chembur-based civic school said borrowing syllabus of other boards may do more harm than good. “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 principal said.
WE ARE OPEN TO FEEDBACK, WILL CORRECT GENUINE ERRORS, SAYS BALBHARTI DIRECTOR
Despite Balbharti facing criticism regarding the revised textbooks, the state school textbooks bureau is constantly reviewing feedback, says Dr Sunil Magar, director, Balbharti.
The revised textbooks have received a lot of flak from various subject experts. How do you take this?
Criticism about any new syllabus is common and has happened in the past too. Balbharti is open to feedback and we do make corrections if errors are found.
You recently released a 27-page list of corrections. Despite this, how are the mistakes and flaws pointed out?
Once the textbook is out, making corrections is a constant process. We got a few suggestions which were presented before our subject committees. The ones which were found to be genuine, were corrected and incorporated.
How are subject committees formed?
We have shared a link wherein people can apply if they want to be a part of syllabus-framing process. We got many such applications and our team of experts shortlisted a few names.
Committee members have said that many mistakes in the textbooks are because of poorly done desktop publishing work and bad translation. How do you respond to this?
While we have trained our staff, those who translate and type the content are not experts in the subjects. Hence, there can be errors. However, the committee sees the final draft and is expected to make changes.