Textbooks for classes II to V and VII to X, to be used as part of the ‘Samacheer Kalvi' initiative of the School Education Department are likely to be ready by the end of next month.

Sources in the Tamil Nadu Text Book Corporation told The Hindu that a total of nine crore books were in the process of being printed.

This follows the textbook writing exercise overseen by the Directorate of Teacher Education, Research and Training, involving experts from various disciplines.

In the academic year that has just come to a close, only classes I and VI started following the new syllabus evolved as per ‘Samacheer Kalvi'.

The new academic year, beginning in June 2011, will mark the change in syllabus for the remaining classes - II to V and VII to X - in effect, bringing all the classes from I to X under the umbrella of ‘Samacheer Kalvi'.

Meanwhile, special educators have expressed concern about the availability of the same textbooks in Braille. Sources in the School Education Department said that a few representatives had approached the Text Book Corporation, asking if they could collaborate with it in printing the books in Braille.

Feasible option

The Director of School Education would have to take a decision on the matter and then suggest a feasible option to the government. Senior officials in the Department said that the decision would be taken within a week.

The availability of books in Braille would be vital for students with visual impairment.

Attempts to translate the class I and VI books to Braille have proved challenging as the new textbooks use several diagrams, pictorial representations and tables, according to some of those involved in the exercise.

Audio books an alternative

J. Selvarajan, a teacher who is part of the centrally sponsored ‘Inclusive Education of the Disabled at Secondary Stage' scheme, said: “We heard that the process is on and that the textbooks would be made available in Braille, too. Students up to middle school most certainly need Braille texts.

For those in higher classes, audio books will also be a good alternative as they are easily portable,” he added.

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Meera SrinivasanJune 28, 2012