State board text books contain hilarious errors for the second consecutive year

Jun 29, 2014, 10:53 IST | Shreya Bhandary

These include old errors that haven't been corrected and new ones introduced this time. Teachers, students, parents and booksellers are not amused though

The recently upgraded State board curriculum hasn’t impressed too many people. Apart from a series of errors that have crept in to several of the textbooks, experts and observers have also highlighted the poor quality of information in the books. What’s worse, even books, which were apparently updated and re-published, not only continue to have earlier mistakes but have also introduced fresh errors.

High Court Advocate Beena Tendulkar
Errors in school textbooks are not news. High Court Advocate Beena Tendulkar points out errors in the Civics textbook of class seven in July 2013. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

“One would think that after being shamed by the public for producing error-riddled textbooks for Class IX and X students, the board would learn a lesson and avoid silly errors this time. However, we were shocked to see fresh mistakes in the newly introduced class III Geography textbook,” said Vidyadhar Amrute, member of Mumbai Geography Teachers’ Association (MGTA). Here’s one example: According to information given in a map in the said Geography textbook, Malad and Vasai creeks appear to be on land while another page mentions the Worli river, a river that does not exist.

Last year, the Class X Geography textbook had a map in which the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh was left out of India. With the re-printed version not available till earlier this week, students had no choice but to depend on last year’s textbook. But when it did finally reach them, series of errors were noted in the re-printed version. African people have been referred to as ‘Negroes’ and Alexander the Great has been referred to as Alexandria, apart from other errors.

“While some major spelling errors were corrected in the re-printed edition, it is really sad that even the history textbooks have so many grammatical and factual errors,” said Shobha Ramana, a history teacher in a Vashi-based school. She pointed that some of the chapters are difficult to understand because of bad usage of grammar. “Many chapters are not structured well and the entire essence of history has gone for a toss in these textbooks,” added Ramana.

Apart from students and teachers, even booksellers are complaining of many students coming and returning the error-filled books. “Just like last year, this time too students and parents are coming to return books as there are errors. We had to explain to them that last year the education board had recalled some textbooks, which isn’t the case so far this year. Parents and students are naturally angry,” said Rashmikant Visariya of the Ganesh Book Story in Borivli (W).

Ironically, as some teachers point out, the error-filled textbooks have started a positive trend among students. “For years we have taught children to go beyond their textbooks and this year students have no choice but to do so. Most textbooks are so bad, that students have to depend on the internet or other books,” said Ruhi Sachdeva, a senior teacher at a Mira Road school.

Amid all this, trust the state board to throw up its hands. When contacted, GK Mamane, State Board chairman, insisted that the re-printed editions have no errors. “If at all there are errors even now, they must be minor ones which teachers can rectify in class while teaching the respective chapters. We will also send the changes to schools via our monthly magazine,” he said.

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