In a bid to nurture traffic sense among school children, the Maharashtra State Board came up with a new subject named Civil Defence and Traffic Safety last year, and published separate handbooks for Std IX and X respectively in June 2012.
However, in the Std IX handbook there are some 46 errors.
Even though the board is aware of these errors, it has not reprinted the book stating it is a ‘minor subject’. Hence, the same faulty handbook is in circulation in this academic year as well.
The board said, “We accept that there are mistakes. But Std IX students don’t require such detailed technical knowledge. Anyway, they are not in an age to procure driving licences. We will correct mistakes by taking information from the Regional Transport Office (RTO).”
Madhukar Shembde, former commandant of Road Safety Patrol and Civil Defence had first approached the state board as well as MLC Mohan Joshi in December 2012, and listed 46 mistakes he found in the handbook.
Joshi had even raised the issue in the state legislative assembly on December 26, 2012.
Taking immediate cognisance, the Secretary of State School Education and Sports Department, A B Ramteke had directed the state board to immediately rectify all the mistakes in Std IX handbook.
However, it has been six months and the new academic year has already started, but nothing has been done yet.
Shembde said, “Last week I bought the handbook hoping that the board had reprinted it. I was shocked to find the faulty book in the market.”
When contacted, State Board Secretary Krishnakumar Patil said, “Till now we have not reprinted the handbook. It is a minor subject.” When asked about what the board is doing to rectify the mistakes, he said, “It is a school-level optional subject.
State board’s role is restricted only till publishing the handbook. Last year we printed only 5,000 handbooks for Std IX and Std X.”
Hopefully by the next academic year the board will have corrected all the mistakes in the traffic handbook meant for students of Class IX and X.