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Parents hold protest in Baramulla over common school curriculum

Say JKBOSE textbooks outdated
12:00 AM Apr 19, 2024 IST | Syed Rizwan Geelani
parents hold protest in baramulla over common school curriculum
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Baramulla, Apr 18:  The parents of children enrolled in different private schools of north Kashmir's Baramulla district on Thursday staged a protest against the government decision to adopt a common curriculum in government as well as private schools across Kashmir.

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The parents termed the textbooks published by JK Board of School Education (BOSE) as outdated and compared them with the expired medicines saying that the prescribed textbooks are "hazardous for the future of students."

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"The way expired medicines or expired eatables are harmful for health, similarly these outdated textbooks are hazardous for the future of school children," a female parent who was part of the protest, said.

The parents assembled in Sopore town to raise their voices against the government decision and said the textbooks prescribed by JK Board of School Education (BOSE) were not updated for years together.

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"When we look at the content published in the JKBOSE textbooks, it is outdated and implementing the same textbooks in schools will prove costly for the overall development of students," a group of parents said.

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The parents while referring to the New Education Policy (NEP)-2020 said the students falling in the age group of three to eight years have been declared as a foundational stage but contrary to it, the textbooks framed by JKBOSE are not meeting the standards.

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"We urge the concerned authorities to go through the content of the textbooks and see where we are laying our foundation," the parents said.

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As already reported, the JKBOSE has made it mandatory for private schools to adopt JKBOSE prescribed textbooks for all classes from the current academic session to ensure a common curriculum in schools.

Besides the complaints of poor content and appearance of the textbooks, the parents said the decision to adopt a common curriculum in schools was taken in haste without taking stakeholders on board.

As already reported, the JKBOSE has failed to ensure adequate supply of textbooks in the market leaving the students at the receiving end.

Besides the non availability of textbooks in the market, the parents have voiced their concern over the quality and the content of these books.

Earlier, various videos went viral on social media which highlighted the shortcomings of JKBOSE in framing the textbooks for school children. In a video, the cover page of a JKBOSE textbook shows "English textbook for class 7th" but inside, the contents of the book are of Kashmiri textbook for class 6th students.

In another video, the parents complained of having blank pages in textbooks wherein the text on several pages is missing, causing confusion among the students.

"Such instances have raised concern among the parents over the quality and standard of the books prescribed by the JK Board," the protesting parents said. Notably, the JKBOSE has warned the private schools of action as per law, for defying the government order of adopting textbooks prescribed by the Board.

However, the protesting parents said there are certain rules to be followed while publishing any textbooks and a panel of experts is constituted to review the content.

"But going through the content of the textbooks, it seems these textbooks have not been updated till date," the parent said.

The parents said that even if private school textbooks are costly, the content is updated and relevant to the present times. "Forget about the inside content, the JKBOSE books do not have attractive titles of the chapters. We appeal to the government to reconsider the decision and not force students to study these books," the parents said.

A male parent whose kids are enrolled in a private school said his daughter is in class 5th and son in class 7th. "After going through the content of the books, my daughter who is in class 5th said she studied it in class 2nd. The textbooks of class 7th are not up to the mark," the parent said.

The parents said the National Education Policy (NEO)-2020 has stated that children in the age group of three to eight years fall in the foundational stage. "But if we go by the content of JKBOSE books, we are surely not laying a strong foundation for our kids," another parent said.

Amid the protests by parents, the JKBOSE has maintained that their books are updated every year as per the NCERT guidelines.

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