With low learning levels, especially in languages in the city’s municipal schools, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has, in an innovative way, made it mandatory for schools to issue a book, collected under the ‘Donate To Read’ campaign, to each child every month.
The students will be required to submit a synopsis of the book which they will then read during the morning assembly, ensuring that the task was completed.
Along with students, even the teachers have been asked to ‘mandatorily read at least one book a month’. While the teachers will not be required to submit a synopsis, supervisors have been appointed to monitor them and report to the AMC school board.
A circular issued by the AMC School Board Administrative Officer (AO) on June 25 stated, “From the month of September, every teacher and student of the school has to mandatorily read at least one book in a month. The teachers must make such arrangements that students read books as per their interest during Diwali and summer vacations as well. Thus, arrangements are to be made that at the end of each academic session, a student has read at least twelve books in the year.”
The AMC school board set up a bhasha mandali (language society) which carried out the ‘donate to read’ campaign from June 16 till June 21, to arrange these books.
According to officials, during the campaign, which is said to be the brainchild of AMC commissioner Mukesh Kumar, around 1.65 lakh books were collected, thus ensuring one book for each of the 1.5 lakh students enrolled in the 400 municipal schools of the city.
“Every household buys books that are of no use after a point. So the basic idea was to make supplementary books available to our municipal schools. When private school students are reading these books then why not our municipal school students. We appealed to the public to donate books. Surprisingly, we got books in different languages, including Urdu, Sanskrit, English,” said Kumar.
“We had run a campaign where we collected over 1.65 lakh books worth more than 1.5 crore. Now this campaign and these books collected will be of no use if no one reads them. So, this circular has been issued making it compulsory for students and teachers to read the books,” said the AO L D Desai.
The circular also stated, “During the students meeting organised every last Saturday of the month, teachers are to arrange competitions and activities to motivate students’ towards reading.”
The schools have been tasked with maintaining a stock register and an issue register for the books.
The books collected during the campaign have been divided under four different categories — Class I and II, Class III till V, Class VI till VIII and the last for teachers and to be used by the schools.