Integrated textbooks launched for state board Class 1 students
The state’s textbook bureau, Balbharti, has launched integrated textbooks for Class 1 students of the Maharashtra State Board curriculum from this academic year. The idea is to reduce the weight of school bags as students have to carry a single textbook at a time which will include all subjects.
Until now, Class 1 students had to carry 4 textbooks, one for each subject, daily. With integrated textbooks, now they have to carry only a single textbook at a time. The entire Class 1 curriculum is now divided in four parts and made available in four integrated textbooks, two per semester.
“Even as the total cost remains almost the same for parents, this has resulted in reducing the weight of textbooks in a child’s school bag from 850gm to 230gm which is a considerable drop,” said an official from the Balbharti adding that the initiative was first launched in a few schools across Maharashtra last year as a pilot project. However, it has been made a regular practice from this academic year.
Balbharti plans to extend it to higher classes, too, and a pilot project for Class 2 has already been launched in select schools. Every year, integrated textbooks will be introduced to a new class. While as per the plan, the initiative is for textbooks until Class 7, the specifics beyond Class 5 are yet to be finalised with subject and curriculum experts. Director of Balbharti, Krishna Kumar Patil, said, “The subjects see significant increase in higher classes and experts are working on how an integrated approach can be taken for textbooks of higher classes.”
Patil added that even as the state government’s plan is ready to extend integrated textbooks to a new class every year, the initiative will be reviewed to align with the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
The new textbooks which are already in use have been receiving applause from many. However, considering that the initiative is restricted to Marathi and Urdu medium textbooks, the initiative has also received flak from some sections.
“The initiative was launched for the two mediums, considering the high number of schools. If there is adequate demand for integrated books from other mediums, it will be considered,” Patil said.
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