Teachers want simpler textbooks, fewer lessons to help children learn better

Schoolteachers in Karnataka have called for simpler textbooks for primary classes to make it easier for children to understand the basic concepts in different subjects of the curriculum.

Giving suggestions to make the curriculum more relevant to students, the Karnataka State Primary School Teachers’ Association has submitted a list of recommendations to Baraguru Ramachandrappa, the chairperson of the textbook revision committee. On Saturday, the Association held its executive meeting that was attended by representatives from all the 34 education districts in the State. One of the primary demands of the teachers is to reduce the number of lessons in textbooks, especially for classes 1 to 5. Instead of making children learn too many lessons, they should be enabled to understand the basic concepts clearly, the teachers suggested.

Teachers have also urged the committee to consider inclusion of lessons closer to life so that students can relate to them and inculcate them in their routine.

Besides, they want merging social science textbook with language books to reduce the burden on students. Focusing on another aspect, teachers want the government to discontinue the practice of promoting students to the next class despite their poor performance in class tests. This practice will not help the students in the longer run, they opined.

Basavaraja Gurikara, president of the Association, said the curriculum should be proportional to the infrastructure available in government schools across Karnataka. “If the school infrastructure cannot support the teaching methodology recommended, the quality of teaching will be hit,” he told Deccan Herald.

Infrastructure includes sufficient staff too. There should be teachers for co-curricular activities, one teacher for every class and one attendant and clerk per school. There should not be more than 25 students in a class, they stated, adding that schools also needed to be ICT-enabled. Teachers reiterated that the Continuous Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) had become a burden and the government must reconsider it.

Secular textbooks

Teachers want the committee to ensure the textbooks are secular, to help instil a sense of nationhood and scientific temperament in students. As for the constitution of the textbook committee, they want the chairperson to select members from different parts of Karnataka, to represent the history, culture and dialects across the State. Not just that, these members must be subject experts too, they stated.

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