Hoping to kindle encourage students to start conversing and writing in Sanskrit, beyond its use as a theoretical subject in schools, the Maharashtra State Bureau of Text Book Production and Curriculum Research, also known as Balbharati, has completely revised the Sanskrit language syllabus and textbooks for Class VIII and IX.
Offered to students of English, Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati media, the new Sanskrit textbooks are intended to be more engaging, with emphasis on pictorial content, activity-based learning, stories, songs and even small conversations, which now form the syllabus. The textbooks will be completely in Sanskrit language and even the teaching process will be in Sanskrit.
“If you see the earlier textbooks, even though the content was Sanskrit, often the head of questions such as Match the Following or Fill in Blanks was written in English or another language. Even some grammatical explanations were given in other languages. But in the new books, everything is in Sanskrit only as we want the students to take complete interest in this language. Earlier, students would view this language more like a bookish subject but the idea is to make them move to conversational Sanskrit. Hence, the new books have lots of pictures, small everyday conversations, diagrams,” said an official.
Asked if the decision to move to a complete Sanskrit-only textbook would prove difficult for students who are first-timers to the language, officials at Balbharati said that for words or concepts that are tough, QR codes will be given in the textbook. If the code is scanned by either teachers or students, then they will direct them to webpages that will explain the word or concept. There, one can choose to get meanings in other languages too.