WITH MORE than half the session is gone and just five months remaining for the Class X board examinations, there is no sign of science books. This year (2016-17), a whopping 69,936 students had failed in the science Class X board exam but the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) has apparently learnt no lessons.
Even the mid-term examinations in September are over in schools but Class X students in government schools are yet to get their science textbooks. Teachers say that in case thousands of Class X students flunk the 2017-18 science exam, the state government is likely to resort to a “cop-out” and
In 2016-17 results, a total of 3,30,367 Class X students had appeared for science exam of whom 2,60,431 managed to pass. An astonishing number of 69,936 students had flunked the science exam. And now in 2017-18, it is already October and six months into the new session that there is no sign of science books for Class X.
Speaking to The Indian Express, a science teacher said, “Science is a difficult subject. We have to draw and explain diagrams and figures. We are now drawing everything on blackboards and dictating every single question. Is this how government can expect teachers to complete syllabus and improve results? We are even taking extra periods of other subjects because there are no science books and dictating every single question using old books takes time.”
Another science teacher added, “We can imagine how mid-term exams in September have been conducted. We put only those questions in the paper which were dictated in class. This is not how board exam is going to be and then when students will fail, teachers will be blamed and CM will issue orders against us. Even now if books reach in October, can you expect students to revise whole year’s syllabus at one go? No matter how much we try, we cannot draw perfect diagrams on board and without books students do not revise lessons at home.”
Teachers added that currently either students are studying from old books or getting print outs from the book uploaded on website by PSEB. “It is astonishing that PSEB books have reached the markets for private school children but the ones which have to be given for free to SC/ST children in government schools are not printed yet. Even last year, there was extreme shortage and thus old books are also not available easily. But at least they had reached by July last year, this year it is October now and class X does not have science books,” said another teacher. “We cannot ask poor SC/ST students to buy books available in the market. It is illegal as the government has to provide them free books. So teachers are buying one copy and teaching the entire class with it,” said another science teacher.
This year after seeing dismal Class X board results, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had issued a statement saying he was ‘dismayed’ and claimed that he “had directed the finance department to make available all necessary funds for undertaking urgent measures to improve the quality of education and infrastructure in government schools.” But despite these claims, even the books that are a basic necessity have not reached government schools yet.
Komal Singh, spokesperson, PSEB said, “As we have clarified that there was delay in purchase of paper this year so books were not printed in time. Science book for Class X should be available by next week.”