Dear Writers of State Board textbooks,
Brace yourselves. This is going to be one long rant. I have been studying out of your books for 12 years of my life and fortunately or unfortunately I know exactly how messed up the education you give us is. So sit back, get a pen and paper, take this down and make some changes. Or don’t. Whatever.
Let us start with English. As a subject you have managed to ruin English in every possible way you could have thought of. The compilations of stories, articles and poems throughout the years have been, well, to sum it up in one word, sad. You choose to give us useless write-ups about Harry Potter being available as an eBook. And if you decide to add in Hemingway or Arthur Conan Doyle you dumb it down to the level of a first grader in tenth and eleventh grade. I don’t know about the others but I sure feel a tad bit insulted when I have to do articles and prepositions and nouns and verbs in my first year of graduation.
I can hear your argument – “We have to consider people from all backgrounds”. I give you one simple solution for that: creating two syllabi. The way colleges have an option of advanced foreign language or beginner foreign language. I know there would be a few glitches in the way but if you put your brains to it, it should work out.
Now let’s talk about social sciences. History, first. We start History in grade 3 where we learn about early man. Then in grade 4 we jump right to Shivaji (Oops, sorry. Shivaji Maharaj). Then in grade 5 to the Indian freedom struggle. Then in grade six back to the Harappan civilization and Ashoka and the Kosala Empire. Then grade 7, four chapters on the Mughal reign and back to Shivaji. In grade 8 the Indian freedom struggle again. In grade 9, medieval Europe and feudalism. And finally in grade 10, right from the American War of Independence to the world as we know it today. You will have to forgive my minuscule brain if I can’t fathom a link here. Also, it doesn’t seem fair that we get two years to learn about Shivaji and the Indian freedom struggle but just one textbook to cover the American War of Independence and French revolution imperialism, the instability in Europe giving rise to the many dictatorships, two world wars, two world organizations aiming for world peace and then globalization.
In other social sciences like Geography, Political Science, Psychology, Economics, Sociology and so on, the information you give us is incomplete and even incorrect. Also, it seems like you haven’t been taught how to end a topic. And if you can’t tell us what something is, you’ll just tell us what it is not. For example, if we are talking about micro economics, instead of telling us what it is, you say micro economics is not the study of large units. It does not talk about inflation and so on. Also, your use of irrelevant examples to help us “understand better” is overwhelmingly pathetic.
In your Maths textbooks, in the solution set, your answers are mismatched too many times. Also, you keep changing the colour of the text as and when you like. May I ask what purpose does that serve exactly?
In your Science textbooks, like I mentioned for History, there is no link. Also, you have annoying characters pop up from nowhere and ask stupid, generic, irrelevant questions. Please stop trying to be cool.
I’ve saved the best for the last. Your grammar. You have no concept of subject-verb agreement. You haven’t the faintest idea about when and where and how to use articles and prepositions. You don’t know punctuation, and typos seem to be your best friends. Sometimes you leave sentences incomplete and sometimes meaningless. And on the other hand, you use fancy words which are totally out of context and have no reason to be there.
You hold the power of educating billions of kids around the state. That isn’t something to take lightly. So, in conclusion, why don’t all of you quit being lazy and have textbooks, which are, if not a delight to read at least educative and informative with correct use of the English language. Or don’t. Whatever.
Just Another Student
by Huma Bhola
One thought on “An Open Letter to the State Board”
Just an incidence…The other day I was teaching my younger sister Math.
I was teaching her Variation And Constructions..All that textbook had was a def of median and other definitions without any steps for how to construct..
Also Variation just had problems on direct and inverse variation and their definition..
If these textbooks are going to teach these kids the syllabus like this I would suggest just prepare a definite syllabus for every grade and let the teachers teach in their own manner cause anyway the textbooks are USELESS.
With Hindi And Marathi what atrocious poems..A 5 line poem to a 7th Std student on ‘Ghar’ Ridiculous.
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