‘These books defeat the purpose of a student-friendly education system’

Recently, in a government-aided school in T. Nagar, much confusion ensued after two students could not decide on what the right answer for a particular maths problem was, because the guides they were referring to showed two different answers. When they went to their teacher for a solution, she had a third new answer.

With the State government having introduced comprehensive and continuous evaluation (CCE) this year, and CBSE having introduced the system much earlier, teachers working in city schools say that guide books defeat the purpose of having a student-friendly educational system.

Gita Das, who teaches English for classes XI and XII at Sacred Heart Matriculation Higher Secondary School, calls it a vicious cycle. “We ask students not to use guide books, especially for English, and mark them on the basis of originality. But, since class X and XII exams are marks-oriented, students end up using guides,” she says.

Sashirekha N. who teaches maths at Good Shepherd notes that students are increasingly reproducing what is given in guide books even in a subject like maths. “With the introduction of CCE, the burden on students has been reduced, and the system has become less marks-oriented. I hope this will help students derive joy from learning,” she says.

However, when asked if the trimester pattern and CCE had reflected in the sales of guide books this year, there is a mixed response from sellers. Some say sales have increased, while others claim they have gone down.

“Sales have gone down significantly this year since students now have to buy a guide book every trimester. Parents are apprehensive,” says Rafiq A., proprietor, M.K. Stores.

Guides in the market now come in various forms. While some publishers have stuck to last year’s pattern with one guide for a subject per academic year, some have replicated the trimester pattern in textbooks. V. Sridhar of Vijaya Stores, Mylapore says that like textbooks, guides too have become lighter this year. “Sales have definitely increased as now all state board schools have common textbooks from class I to VIII, unlike earlier,” he says.

Arunkumar Appasamy, partner, A.L.N. Book Center, says though the sale of guide books has been brisk, it will be better next trimester, when parents and students will be clearer about what they need. The sale of CBSE guides, they all noted, continued to remain steady.

Keywords: Schoolsguide booksCBSECCE