In a State where many emphasise the need for mother tongue education, hundreds of children who choose to study in Gujarati and Hindi medium do not get textbooks.

Prescribed textbooks have not been printed for students in Hindi and Gujarati medium schools in the State for decades now.

Students studying in these schools rely on translated content from English books or photocopies of manuscripts. After making an appeal to the School Education Department for years, these schools have now given up. The strength of these schools is not promising, either.

“We are told that it is a policy decision and printing of textbooks cannot be done where the strength of students is less than 5,000,” says S. Adhiappan, headmaster of Motilal Fomra Sanatana Dharma Higher Secondary School and president of the Tamil Nadu Higher Secondary Headmasters' Association (Chennai district).

He says that the number of students in regional language schools imparting education in Urdu, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada and Tamil medium is also declining. But, they at least get textbooks from the Tamil Nadu Textbook Corporation.

Teaching from printed material takes away the interest of learning, which is a reason why their strength is decreasing, say teachers.

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Liffy ThomasJune 28, 2012