Classes without textbooks catch young students’ fancy

The Govt. of Tamil Nadu has withheld distribution of school text books for the just started academic year citing errors and wrongful inclusion of lessons on the previous ruling party’s Chief Minister and his daughter. The latter is a member of parliament but now imprisoned and undergoing trial on charges of corruption in New Delhi.  The Govt. action of not distributing the text books went to the high court and then the Supreme Court which has constituted a committee to review the books. Meanwhile schools in the state have opened for new post summer academic session without text books in the midst of consternation and protests from parents and teachers but it seems students are enjoying being at school without the conventional pressures of text book based learning. The yearning and enthusiasm for a different way of learning on the part of students is palpable but soon the insensitive system will swing back more vigorously to its old ways and the interlude will fade as a dream. Here is a report published yesterday from Deccan Chronicle, a daily newspaper from Chennai.

Students and parents have welcomed the ‘school without textbook’ concept
implemented by private schools after the Supreme Court asked the state
government to constitute a committee and review samacheer kalvi textbooks.

Some schools are using the three-week period to teach extra curricular
activities like yoga.

When this correspondent visited some of the government and private schools in the city several classrooms were filled with joyful students. “As we do not have any textbooks to read, our class teacher taught us about our states and their capitals which helped me know more about our country. Teachers, usually, won’t dwell deep into topics like these as they have their lessons to complete within a stipulated period of time,” R. Jawahar Vignesh, a class 6 student, said.

He said he liked the school without textbook concept very much , as he need
not carry a 15-kg bag to school. “I will be happy if the school continues to
implement this concept for rest of the year also,” Vignesh said.

Echoing Vignesh’s views, Sujatha, a class 8 student, said their teacher
taught them fundamentals of electricity with notes prepared from Internet which had lot of pictorial representations to make learning a pleasure rather than pressure.

“The class went on for over an hour as there is no timetable for the teachers
to follow. So we like the way classes are conducted. Our teacher also gave us
some printouts take from websites for us to read,” she said.

M.Saravanan, a parent, said the school administration and state government
should continue to follow the system, which several educational institutions in
western countries have been following for quite a long time.


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One thought on “Classes without textbooks catch young students’ fancy

  1. Sridhar (Pondy) June 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm Reply

    I would love this , if this had been during our times of the schooling, despite finding our own joy of studying(?).

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