PV Sindhu Won Bronze, Saina is Sania: Glaring Errors in Karnataka Textbooks
The new and ‘improved’ books were the result of two years of consultations with 185 academicians and an outlay of Rs 45 lakh.
Bengaluru: Badminton ace PV Sindhu won a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics last year, and not the silver medal. Shuttler Saina Nehwal, who has brought India many accolades, is interchangeable with Sania, the tennis superstar. At least, this is what students in Karnataka are going to learn in school this year.
This is the result of two years of consultations with 185 academicians and an outlay of Rs 45 lakh for revised textbooks for primary and higher secondary education in the state. The printing cost for the six crore books was over Rs 144 crore.
The new books are full of glaring mistakes like factual inaccuracies, spelling errors and missing content like diagrams or questions. In the Class 7 Kannada textbook, pages 24-57 are missing altogether, while in the Class 10 English textbook, pages 53-84 are printed upside-down. In the Class 7 Maths textbook, there are no questions, just answers. There are also numerous spelling mistakes - hygiene is spelt as 'hygien' and Persian is spelt as 'Presian.'
The new and ‘improved’ books were the brainchild of Congress Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who in 2014, decided to remove some of the content that was sanctioned by the previous BJP government in the state.
He formed a committee in 2014, headed by well-known writer and director Baraguru Ramachandrappa, to oversee the changes. Despite the mistakes, the CM has now decided against reviewing the printed books, and has, instead, formed yet another committee to educate teachers to deal with the errors in the classroom. The high cost of printing means there probably won’t be a re-revised version soon.
With tests around the corner, students are likely to suffer. Shashi Kumar, general secretary of the Karnataka Private School Association, said spelling errors start from the first page of the books. “In some pages, there are no diagrams, and in some books the print is really bad. The paper quality too has been compromised,” said Kumar.
When the matter was brought to the attention of state education minister Tanveer Sait, he was unperturbed. He said this is not the first time such errors have cropped up, implying books were as bad under the BJP government as well. “Printers usually commit such mistakes, and an inquiry has been ordered,” he said.
“We have already assured that whatever mistakes are there and whatever has to be done will definitely done. But demands such as withdrawing all the textbooks or asking for the resignation of the committee chairman are unreasonable,” Sait added.
The BJP has hit out at the Congress government for the errors.
Spokesperson Suresh Kumar said that the books are full of both typographical and factual errors and the party has demanded that the books be withdrawn.
“If they say that PV Sindhu secured a bronze medal, it is an insult. At least they should know who has secured what medal. She had done a lot of hard work, so to reduce that silver medal to a bronze medal in a textbook is an insult,” said Kumar.
He said that the BJP had urged the government to introduce revised books from the academic year 2018-19, but they were in a hurry, which led to mistakes. “NCERT is also coming with new textbooks, but they were hell bent on bringing the new textbooks in order to win an election. They cannot make the students suffer,” he added.
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