Good and Quality Textbooks for Children are the Need of the Hour

Good and Quality Textbooks for Children are the Need of the Hour
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Mushtaq Hurra

Privatization of education is a boon for the education sector as it instills a sense of healthy competition between the different service providers vis a vis government schools and private counterparts. Though it has many drawbacks as well but still, it has done a great service to the educational sector of Jammu and Kashmir. The most appealing thing about private schooling is better curriculum in comparison to its government counterpart. Yes, you have got it right. I mean the books available to students in private schools are far better than in government schools, both in terms of paper quality and syllabi. The huge syllabi disparity between the two service providers is badly lingering our government school educational sector.
Many top brass schools of the country run their educational operations through CBSE mode of syllabi. Though most private schools of our state lag behind in terms of CBSE syllabi, but still, the curriculum and the syllabi they carry in their schools is far better than the syllabi taught in our government schools. Today, I won’t debate about the better accountability, administration and performance of private schools but the quality of their books which is hugely adding to the mantra of their success.
The voice for “One Curriculum ” must go shriller. It won’t be feasible for authorities to implement CBSE syllabi in all the schools because we probably lack the required quality work force to implement the same in all the schools. Let me make an honest confession here. A big chunk of our teachers probably lack that potential which is required at the level. I won’t blame these teachers but the system in Vogue. Probably, our selection process is not good enough to choose the best among the bests. Other factors can’t be ruled out which stop our fertile brains to choose the career in school education. Salary and other incentives might be the other reasons. And one can’t rule out the stigma etched wrongly to the profession. The recent tussle between the authorities and the teachers of our state is a concrete proof of maltreatment meted out to teachers, so, how can we expect the best of our society to choose it as a career when they have other options available as well.
Though, the most of our private schools do not run their educational operations through CBSE syllabi but still they do wonders in academics. The books and the syllabi in these schools is much better than the books used in government schools. These books are catchy and easy to comprehend while poor quality of books used in government schools is a big factor which is detrimental in the poor performance of our schools. The lengthy syllabi are another snag which needs to be corrected immediately. Our educational department had accepted the flaws in our books and had promised to change these books but the work done is equal to nothing. If any work is being carried out, it is done at snail’s pace. We need speedy changes.
Can someone dare to ask the people at the helm of affairs what stops them from changing these books so slowly? Though it needs a sufficient period of time but too many years are more than enough, and it is pathetic on part of our authorities to consume too much time for the removal of possible snags in our textbooks. Had authorities been the real well-wishers of our nation, the books would have been overhauled earlier. This is not a mere question of changing books but it is a question of our future. We all need to keep pace with the changing demands and trends of the world. World has reached the heights of academics but we are yet to break the jinx of ( Maira Naam wali Hai) my name is Wali.
In competitive examinations like NEET, JEE and so on, our students have to compete at the national level. Syllabi disparity cripples our children to showcase their talents because poor standards of textbooks hamper their academic progress Their many faculties remain unexplored, given the lack of proper and required syllabi. Children studying in big schools are privileged enough because they are allowed to explore their hidden potentials, and good books is not a matter of coincidence but a matter of seriousness of authorities and other stakeholders.
All the government-run-schools of our state run their academic programs through English medium, so one state one curriculum is the need of the hour. State institute of education and JK Bose should give a serious thought to this important issue because it is detrimental in our incompetency when it comes to results and learning levels.
Teachers and parents have been voicing against this disparity for years together. Good quality textbooks will make it easy it out for children and teachers of government schools when it comes to give the hundred percent while the outdated textbooks halt the pace of children in government schools.
As a teacher, I have been working with these books for years together. For instance, third, fourth and fifth standard EVS book has enormous scope for improvement. Many English language books could be improved qualitatively for better communicative skills among children. The poor picture quality is another snag in our textbooks. Most of the pictures drawn are so poor that even a teacher is unable to comprehend them properly, then, how can a child be attracted towards it? When something is not pleasing enough for our eyes, we tend to ignore it. So, our textbooks need an immediate overhauling, and the concerned stakeholders should take a lead in this regard. The work done is not sufficient and adequate. Let us hope, the required changes are made at the earliest.

—The writer is a Teacher and a Columnist. He can be reached at: