TEXTBOOKS are a primary tool for education at school, college and university levels, where the teacher doesn’t teach but repeats what textbooks contain and the students are expected to reproduce the same.
Besides, the questions given at the end of every chapter or lesson are localised and students face no challenge in answering them. This practice not only hampers students’ creativity, but also encourages them to memorise the exact contents of the book.
The textbooks of Sindh Textbook Board, Jamshoro, are no different. They have not been revised for the last two decades. To give you an example, the Pakistan studies book for grade IX offers old statistics such as the population of Pakistan is 132.35 million, literacy rate in Pakistan for male and female is 61 and 36 per cent, and so on.
According to the book, the population of Karachi is 10 million and only 32.5 per cent people live in urban areas. The statistical data for other provinces and cities is also given as per the 1998 census.
In addition, the English textbook seems to be a general knowledge book rather than a language learning book. It is also taught in a traditional way. The students are asked to learn excerpts of it by rote learning, and he is graded by the quantity of its contents that he can reproduce.
Again, the questions given at the end of every lesson are localised. Exercises hardly help students polish their writing and speaking skills. Most the questions carry one-line answer.
The higher authorities and the curriculum wing should look into the matter and do the needful.
Published in Dawn, March 11th, 2020