The Maharashtra government recently issued a resolution to merge textbooks and notebooks for schools from classes 1 to 10. The resolution was passed on Thursday, March 2, to reduce the burden of school bags on children in the academic year 2023-24. As per the new plan, textbooks for government and aided school children will be divided into four parts (semester) and blank sheets/papers to scribble notes during the classes will be provided after each chapter.
The one or two blank pages will be under the title – ‘my notes’, as per reports. The blank sheets will be attached or provided by the school only where needed. These blank sheets will be used by students to write down important points or notes discussed by teachers in class.
Depending on the new plan’s success, the integrated textbooks-cum-notebooks can be extended to private schools also. All subjects will be grouped together in four textbooks for each of the four semesters, according to the government’s resolution plan. Furthermore, the goal is to ensure that children only carry one book per semester.
The State Bureau of Textbook Production and Curriculum Research which prints textbooks under the ‘Balbharati’ banner will now publish and distribute the new textbooks to government and aided schools. Meanwhile, children of private schools can also buy the existing textbooks till stocks last. Post the circulation of the new textbooks to government schools, these textbooks will be made available in the open market as well.
Students of classes 1 and 2 will have all their subjects combined into a textbook for each quarter or semester, the report added. There will be a textbook-cum-notebook of all subjects per quarter or semester, for classes 3 to 8. These students will have to carry the textbooks for every quarter. Additionally, the printing and distribution of the above will be done in a phased manner. While for those students in classes 9 and 10, there will be one textbook-cum-notebook for all prime subjects in each quarter. But for optional and graded subjects, the current textbooks will be used.
Students will continue to use separate notebooks for classwork and homework. “Attaching blank sheets makes little sense as students need to write a lot and they use long notebooks,” said a school principal in Jogeshwari, on the new government resolution.