Saturday, March 30, 2013

School kids get a lot of local touch in textbooks

School kids get a lot of local touch in textbooks

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RituSharma : Pune, Tue Jun 26 2012, 03:47 hrs

"Ghana varsh pahelani vaat che. Greece deshna Magnesia pradshma Magnus naamno bharvaad raheto hato. Te dungar par getaan charavato hato...Magnesia pradeshmathi mali aavto aa padarth magnet tareeke odkhayo".
Accompanied with two pictorial illustrations, this Gujarati description of "discovery of magnet" in Greece, narrates a Greek folklore of how a shepherd (bharvaad in Gujarati) goes on to discover magnet. The pictorial depiction shows a shepherd dressed entirely in traditional Gujarati attire.
This attempt to indigenise and add local flavour to the content in science textbook for Class VI is one of the several attempts being undertaken by curriculum designers in the state to convert international and national developments, contexts and references, in to an "easy-to-understand" mode.
The students in primary classes across the state are learning different subjects with a specially crafted local touch. Claiming it to be a move for better implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009 and National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005, the special curriculum committee appointed by the Gujarat State Education Department has redesigned and converted the entire content with indigenous matter, pictures, references and examples.
"29 November 1857 ahinya faansi apayi hati te Maganlal (Patan) ane Madhavji (Vijapur) ne anjali...(This is to pay tribute to Maganlal from Patan and Madhavji from Vijapur who were hanged here on November 29, 1857...)". These lines are taken from a chapter on freedom struggle of 1857 from Social Studies textbook of Class VIII, which is another instance that stresses on local context. As among other freedom fighters like Mangal Pandey, Tantya Tope, Rani Laxmibai and others, there is a special mention (in a box) about a memorial that is located in a primary school of a small village called Samao, Gandhinagar district.
"During deliberations on problems and issues faced by teachers and students, it was felt that there is a huge gap between what is taught and understood by the students. As the students fail to relate to the context, the meaning of the lesson is lost. Thus, there is a special focus on local references and content," additional director at Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT) Dr T S Joshi said, who also heads the curriculum development team.
From illustrations to examples, exercises, practical work to complete chapters on local content, the new curriculum for Classes from I till VIII has ample material with special emphasis on indigenous content. In the Environment Studies textbook of Class IV, there is a chapter on "Vidyarthiyone deshprem" (nationalism among students). The entire chapter is on a college student from Ahmedabad, Vinod Kinariwala.
The chapter starts from a memorial that is built in the premises of Gujarat College, Ahmedabad. This is followed by the history of the memorial that is built in tribute to martyr Vinod Kinariwala who sacrificed his life for the freedom struggle during Quit India Movement. He was shot dead by British soldiers among other students on August 10, 1942, who had gathered at the college in support of the movement.

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