In a state,which takes pride in its sporting culture,even the most seasoned players will find the field and other specifications for some of the sporting events too unsporting and constrained,especially if he goes by practical notebooks on physical education as approved by the state government.
Sample these: The notebook marks the field size for kho-kho,played in nearly every school,at 16 metres long and 2.75 cm wide. The length of the table tennis net is1.83 cms. Boxing is done on a rectangular ring,which is 9 metres to 10 metres high.
These and many more such glaring errors abound the practical notebooks for physical education,science,mathematics and computer education.
Incidentally,in its tearing hurry to get the notebooks in the market,the state government had granted a tender to print them in the middle of the school session. Also the states education department is accused of forcing the government schools students to buy these approved practical notebooks.
Heres some more of the silly errors. In its practical notebooks for science,kerosene has been replaced with brine oil for experiments and carbide with calcium carbide. Its a miracle that no reports of accidents from government school science labs have been reported as yet.
In the mathematics notebooks for class IX,additions have been done where numbers needed to be subtracted.
Many topics covered in these notebooks are out of syllabus,while prescribed topics have been given a miss. Charts and diagrams too have not been properly labelled, said a member of the Punjab Publishers Association. Members of the association had also met the education secretary and brought to her notice the flaws in the notebooks.
Earlier in March,an Advocate,H C Arora,had moved a PIL on behalf of retired head master Om Prakash Goyal demanding withdrawal of these notebooks and action against the DPI (secondary) Punjab Kamal Kumar Garg. Goyal had pointed out mistakes in five of the 25 practical notebooks.
The remaining 20 practical notebooks are under review by my client. In any case,the aforesaid defects are sufficient to show that the five practical notebooks were approved by the office of DPI,Punjab,with closed eyes and for extraneous considerations… notebooks have been approved on the basis of recommendations by incompetent officials, states the legal notice given by Arora to the education department.
It add that in any case,the career of the students,who are given incomplete or half-baked and wrong material for study,is at stake. It is,therefore,fit to say that the 25 practical notebooks should be immediately withdrawn from the government schools and the guilty officials,including the then DPI,Shri Kamal Kumar,who are responsible for grant of approval to the notebooks,should be brought to book, it adds.
In one of the science notebooks the experiment has not been adequately explained. The author has suggested that students should see experiment No. 3,in semester 1. This is strange as there is no semester system in the schools,and otherwise too,instead of explaining the issue at appropriate place,it is evasive and irresponsible to state that the answer should be read from some other book, adds Arora.
Taking up the PIL on March 18,the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered that the state government decide on the averments made in the legal notice within three weeks. The government is yet to follow the court orders.
I am looking into the matter as per the court orders, said principal secretary,school education,Anjali Bhawra.