It must be a mix of anticipation and anxiety for students, with the first year junior colleges scheduled to begin from today. But not for Arts students. With the state board yet to print most of their textbooks, it will be at least a week before their classes start.
Nearly 13 lakh students are in FYJC in the state, and 20% of these are Arts students.
The government press, Balbharati, in Pune is yet to publish textbooks of Marathi, History, Sociology, Philosophy (logic), Home Science and Economics of English and Marathi mediums. Books of Geology and Chemistry too aren’t available yet, Mumbai and Thane bookshop owners said.
An official at the state book depot at Goregaon, which distributes textbooks to city stores, said, “The Chemistry textbook is out, but the rest are yet to arrive from the press.”
The Std XI state board syllabi of all subjects in the Arts and Commerce streams have been restructured from the academic year 2012-13 to bring it on par with the NCERT syllabi. On an average, 30-60% of the syllabus in all subjects is new. This could be one of the reasons for the delay. A sociology teacher said, “We are happy that the curriculum will be modern and interactive now, but we are clueless as to what to teach in class.”
This was Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education’s (MSBSHSE) first attempt to publish books for the Arts and Commerce streams. So far, it has been publishing Science stream books and language books for all streams. Private publishers took care of the books for other subjects.
Sarjerao Jadhav, MSBSHSE chairperson and Balbharti director said, “Yuvabharti (Marathi) book has already been printed and sent to depots across the state. Rest of the books will be printed by this week. This was our first attempt to roll out textbooks in Arts and Commerce subjects as per the revised curricula. We have worked hard and managed to finish 80% of the work on time.”
“Our priority was Commerce and Science books as there are more students in these streams. Moreover, Arts students don’t study from the books in the first 2-3 days of college,” he added.
Another Balbharti official said, “Number of prints depends on number of students who have qualified in SSC that year, plus 10%. But when printing, we start with books of subjects taken by a larger number of students.” The board is printing 8 lakh copies of the Marathi textbook and 10.25 lakh copies of the English textbook for both mediums, and 5 lakh and 2.5 lakh copies of the Economics textbook for Marathi and English mediums respectively.
'Vast’ Chemistry syllabus
Though syllabus of Chemistry of Std XI was restructured a year ago along with other Science subjects, this year, a few more topics have been added
SN Dixit, Chemistry teacher at KJ Somaiya college, says, “The syllabus of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry was increased up to 60% last year. It’s so vast now that it matches with what we studied in MSc. I am afraid what will they add this year.”
Most Chemistry teachers are unaware of the recent changes, while others are confused
Mayur Mehta, Chemistry teacher at Mithibai College, said, “Till now, there has been no communication to colleges regarding this”
Board officials could not be contacted