The revamped first-trimester textbooks for classes I to IX are likely to be available by the first week of June.
This year, in addition to textbooks of classes I to VIII, class IX textbooks too will follow the trimester pattern.
Last academic year, the State government, as part of continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE), introduced trimester system in schools for classes I to VIII. This was aimed at preventing children from carrying heavy schoolbags and reducing overall stress.
Since the introduction of the Samacheer Kalvi syllabus in 2011, State board, matriculation and Anglo-Indian boards use common textbooks. However, they have the option of choosing between those printed by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Education Services Corporation and approved private publishers.
“We have received about 75 per cent of the textbooks, including those of class XII,” an official of the Textbook Corporation said.
According to the State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT), which manages textbook content, the first-trimester books for classes I to VIII have been reviewed and corrected for syntax errors and spelling mistakes. Additions too have been made in some subjects.
For instance, a lesson on ants — ‘Our-tiny co-traveller’ — in the class VII English textbook has been replaced with a lesson on snow leopards in Asia because it was felt the former was too technical and did not aid language development, an official said.
Also, there will be a chapter on casteless society in the class VI Tamil textbook and one on cyber safety in the class VII Tamil book, the official said. About 50 teachers from government, government-aided and private schools, other than subject experts, were engaged in the exercise, according to the SCERT official.
The textbooks are provided free of cost to government, aided and civic body-run schools. The chief educational officer is the nodal point for distribution of free textbooks. Private schools place orders at the godowns of the Textbook Corporation. Books are also available at the Directorate of Public Instruction and through approved private retailers.
On Thursday, the State Common Board of School Education called for applications from private publishers for publishing textbooks, except Tamil language books, of classes I to IX. Publishers have been asked to send two drafts of the books by May 24.
However, secretary of the Education Publishers’ Association, K.A. Roymon, is sceptical. “Many schools prefer buying the books from the Textbook Corporation. Last year, many private publishers incurred a loss because of this. Since the introduction of Samacheer Kalvi, publishers are focussed on non-core textbooks such as general knowledge, handwriting improvement and value education,” he said.
While, 67,76,000 textbooks of class X have already been sent to the 64 nodal centres for distribution, class XII textbooks for all streams will be available by June, the Textbook Corporation official said. The time frame for class XI textbooks has been pushed to June 15.