July 9, 2022
“Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students.” - Solomon Ortiz (b1937), American legislator.
Once upon a time teachers ruled supreme in the classroom. Over the past few years their role has expanded – and downgraded. They have to scout for new students, hold their hands and bring them to school and reach them back at the close of school hours, supervise the preparation and serving of midday meals to students. Then they are dragged into election and census work while babus, whose work it should be, relax in their cozy offices. Now, hold your breath and nose! In Bihar teachers were assigned to photograph, early in the morning, those who relieve themselves in open spaces and forward the photos to municipal/panchayat offices.
Teachers in Karnataka are luckier than their counterparts in Bihar. They are now set to be cut and paste artists. Readers would be aware of the text book mess in Karnataka and I will spare them the details. A new chapter on the subject is opening up as detailed in a media report (The Hindu – Jayanth R - 2/7/22) excerpted below.
Textbook row: Only one corrigendum copy to be given per school
Students will not get a copy of it with each of their textbooks
While the Karnataka government has agreed to carry out eight corrections in school textbooks after strong criticism over revisions carried out as per the recommendations of the Rohith Chakrathirtha-led committee, it has now emerged that each student will not get a copy of the corrigendum booklet. Instead, one copy per school will be given and it is up to the school authorities and teachers to ensure that each student carries out the correction in his or her copy of the textbook. Booklets with eight corrections in the Class I to Class X Kannada and Social Science textbooks are being printed. The Karnataka Text Book Society (KTBS) is planning to distribute them to all government, aided, and private State syllabus schools across the State soon.
There were 48,285 government, 6,312 aided, and 20,000 private schools with State syllabus in Karnataka and about one crore students were studying in them. Printing and distributing the correction booklet to each student is a Herculean task, said sources in KTBS. Lack of funding was also an issue. Therefore, KTBS is planning to distribute one copy to each school. KTBS would inform the teachers to use the booklet’s content while teaching the particular lesson. “We will inform the teachers to use the appropriate corrections while teaching the particular lessons. Teachers will give a note on it to the students.”
Ajay Kamath, State secretary of student organisation AIDSO, differed from this view and argued that this would lead to confusion. “This shows total disregard for the opinion of so many experts. It also exposes the government’s anti-student attitude. We demand that the government distribute the old textbooks to all students immediately and put an end to the confusion.”
The teacher’s may have to make photocopies of the corrected sheets and make a cut and paste job for the concerned books of all the students – never mind the time and labour involved. It may be an additional “do it yourself” job for teachers.
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