Mumbai gets less rain than Delhi? Maharashtra Class 10 textbooks filled with basic errors
More than 16 lakh students take the Class 10 Maharashtra board exams every year, and such error-ridden, poorly written textbooks are rapidly becoming a cause for concern.mumbai Updated: Jul 31, 2018 11:20 IST
A map in the geography textbook for Class 10 students shows the arid Ladakh region to be more populated than the Kashmir valley; graphs comparing rainfall across India makes it seem like Mumbai gets less rain than Delhi; science textbooks skirt topics related to sex education; and, a section of the history syllabus is too advanced even for post graduate students of the subject. And, these are apart from the numerous spelling and grammar errors that all these textbooks are full of.
These are just some of the errors pointed out by experts Hindustan Times spoke to, even after Maharashtra’s school textbooks bureau, Balbharti, issued a 27-page booklet earlier this month to correct other errors in the new editions.
More than 16 lakh students take the Class 10 state board exams every year, and such error-ridden, poorly written textbooks are rapidly becoming a cause for concern.
“On one hand, the state is trying to bring textbooks of the state board at a par with those published by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT),” said geographer and retired professor Vidyadhar Amrite, who has been a part of the expert panel for textbooks in the past. “But, the preparation required for that transition is completely lacking. There is sheer imitation, duplication of topics, but poor integration with what was taught earlier.”
The other experts who helped HT point out errors in these books were historian Dr Arvind Ganacharya, Dr Sudha Mohan, the head of the department of Civics and Politics at the University of Mumbai, Dr Vivek Monteiro,a mathematics and science educator, and Leena Kulkarni, a science educator. The history text book looks only at applied history that even postgraduate students take some time to understand, said Ganacharya. According to Monteiro, the textbooks make no attempt to make the learning of mathematics interesting and easy. “In fact, there seems to be poor integration between topics that need to be taught simultaneously,” he said.
In the science textbook, concepts like IVF, surrogacy, and sperm banks are described cursorily. “Most teachers would skip teaching them as there is no context and background to this in earlier years,” said Kulkarni. “These topics need to be handled very sensitively to ensure students do not get wrong information.”
Ravi D, a retired school teacher from Bhandup said the mistakes made it difficult to teach students, as the supplementary study material also has the same errors. “There are so many glaring errors, and this is apart from the spelling and grammatical errors. Despite writing to Balbharti, there seems to be no action”. Ravi said he has sent a list of major mistakes to the Balbharti, but got no response.
Balbharti maintained that making revisions and corrections in new textbooks was a constant process. “Balbharti is open to feedback, and we do make corrections if found genuine,” said Dr Sunil Magar, director, Balbharti.
First Published: Jul 31, 2018 09:35 IST