Balbharati to start one-textbook for all subjects this year

Updated: Jan 21, 2020, 07:57 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

Pilot project to begin with Marathi-medium schools; following a thorough review, the policy will later be extended to all mediums

Schoolchildren can finally heave a sigh of relief as Balbharati is planning to introduce one-textbook for all subjects policy from the next academic year.

Under this policy, students from Std I to Std VII will have one textbook for all subjects. While the pilot project will begin with Marathi medium schools from around 60 blocks, depending on its review, the policy will be extended to all mediums across the state.

Heavy school bags have been a point of concern for a long time, especially with several health hazards associated with it. In order to provide some respite to students, several schools have resorted to new ways for reducing the schoolbags weights.

More so, even the government introduced different concepts to ensure that the school-bags weigh lesser by asking schools to make timetables accordingly or by asking them to introduce lockers for keeping textbooks in the classrooms itself.

A notification issued by the Balbharati, states, "Students have to take all textbooks to school as per the time-table and it is leading to an increase in weight of school bags.

This led to a major discussion in the bureau regarding how we can ensure that students take only that material to school what is being taught and not an entire textbook. This led to the proposed concept of one-book for all subjects. Under this, every subject textbook will be divided into three parts and there will be one single textbook for each term. For class I to V, the total subjects are less and so the textbooks will be divided into three parts whereas for class VI and VII subjects are more so the textbooks will be divided into four parts."

The proposal has received a mixed reaction. Prashant Redij, secretary of Mumbai School Principals' Association, said, "This may help partially to reduce the weight of school-bags, but what about the notebooks? And what about fancy bags, water-bottles and multiple Tiffin's which add to the weight of school bags."

Uday Nare, a teacher from Hansraj Morarji Public School in Andheri said, "There have been several initiatives in the past to attain the same objective but the situation has not seen much change. This is also because there are non-academic factors affecting the weight of schoolbags. It is high time that we start looking at taking advantage of the available technology to ensure less weight of school-bags."

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