Isn’t it time we get rid of misleading, out-dated and rotten secondary/intermediate Sindh Text Board – STB curriculum? As our locally-authored science textbooks, published by Sindh Text Board are dragging the early 70’s edition textbooks and which are still available in the market, selling deception, deviating masses from authenticity.
The topics in textbooks are disarrayed, packed with quasi-scientific ideas, full of fuzzy diagrams, have countless grammatical inaccurate sentences and are less knowledge-oriented. For example; a Biology textbook brings multi-cellular organisms before single-cellular organisms. While the secondary Chemistry text-book still defines an atom “the indivisible particle” which was disproved a century ago.
Many of our generations have seen the subject of Science as ‘incomprehensible’ and in turn, it stimulates a sense of hostility among the youngsters, towards the subject which stands at every cross-road of life. Our ignorance will cause a significant damage to the young minds, as they will see greatest human achievements as dull and dry. It will generate either a colony of pseudo-scientists or the society of those who would find science as an ‘abstruse’ topic. Consequently, people will find it intellectually challenging and will start losing the taste of science. That’s why I see it as a matter of paramount importance.
Although biased education system and rusted teaching machinery are also blameworthy, these false textbooks (which should have no good use other than being fruit coverings in the mango packets) are a class of their own. It is said that “Education is the training of mind how to think (how to become curious).” But unfortunately, what if local books are designed to murder the curiosity rather than nourishing it?
Mathematics, probably the most beautiful subject humans have ever come across, which sharpens logic and stimulates the mind to reason, is constrained to chapter-end exercises which need to be solved. Physics is restricted to some set of equations which need to be parroted, regardless of the real essence of the subject.
The subject becomes fruitless when students are not taught what in reality they are doing, when they are solving matrices, playing with vectors, taking derivatives or evaluating integrals. And then, the unfortunate moment arrives, when a 10-year-old Japanese does better at Maths than our 17-year-old. Sheer disgrace!
Most of the teachers and local textbook authors themselves do not understand what they teach. For they themselves have received poor science education. Due to limited knowledge, they are not synchronized with the outer world. A bunch of them do not encourage new ideas, they are not ready to accept it. Still, these badly educated persons are entrusted and handed over Sindh’s youth to teach.
Ever wondered why one text-book have so many (mostly 6 to 8) authors and editors? Because authoring and editing textbooks is a golden business due to a large volume of copies sold! Every contributor gets his unfair sum and passes the blame on others. I suppose some strict regulations and sentences can do some help. To me, two solutions seem to exist.
1. The concerned committee should gradually try to make successive revised editions of the textbooks which should include newly adapted topics from the advanced sources. Figuratively, the books should be revised if not at least once in three years and each time, at least twenty new topics should be added.
2. The government should buy copyrights from the respective publishers and purchase, reproduce, and translate renowned books which have good international sale record. And replace them with the existing curriculum and provide these books at cheaper rates, so that everyone should be able to afford it.
If the matter is not taken seriously and is set free to follow the trajectory, the results would be catastrophic.