The world may have realised its folly and moved on, but, for the Maharashtra State Board, Africans remain ‘N*****s’. What’s worse is that this, and many other errors, had been pointed out in the SSC history textbooks by teachers and the media last year and the new textbooks released for this year continue to have them.

“While some of the major spelling errors have been corrected in this year’s edition of the Std X history book, it is really sad that it still has so many grammatical and factual errors (see box),” said Shobha Ramana, a history teacher at a school in Vashi.

She pointed out that the grammar is so bad in places that some of the chapters are difficult to understand. “Some of the chapters are not structured well and the entire essence of history has gone for a toss in these textbooks,” she added.

Teachers said that the text explaining the Cold War and the Importance of Computers is difficult to fathom. They said these things had been pointed out last year but no changes have been made. “Japanese history forms a big part of the book, but most of the names of Japanese leaders have been spelt wrong. How does the board expect children to study?” asked Ramana.

Last year, teachers had pointed out glaring errors in the book to the Maharashtra State Board, which included spelling errors like Suez Canal being referred to as the ‘Sewage Canal’. After a series of media reports, the state board had sent clarifications to the schools in their monthly magazines and instructed the Board of Studies for the History subject to look into the errors and release error-free textbooks for this academic year.

While some errors have been corrected, history teachers maintain that many still remain. “Last year, the textbooks were almost unusable because of the errors and we had to type out some parts of the book and give photocopies to our students. We didn’t want students to write wrong answers in their board exams.

It’s really sad that the errors still exist,” said another history teacher from an Andheri school. She said that while senior history teachers had pointed out the mistakes and made changes before teaching students, many new teachers had not. “Only the Lord knows what our students have written in their SSC exams this year. We’ll know only after the results are out,” she said.