This will be introduced in Std I and will be implemented later for all primary classes. The four subjects taught in Std I, English, Marathi, Mathematics and Play and Learning, have been integrated into a single textbook for four semesters. Therefore, instead of carrying all four subject textbooks, the student must carry only the integrated textbook, part 1, 2, 3 or 4, depending on the semester.
“At present, a Std I pupil, approximately six years old, carries in his bag at least 830g of textbooks alone, daily at his school. Add the weight of a bottle of water, tiffin and notebooks, and the weight exceeds 1kg. But with this method, the weight of textbooks is reduced to 210 g. On a pilot basis, the textbooks have been introduced in 488 model schools across the state, and the feedback has been good,” said Vivek Gosavi, Director of Balbharati (Maharashtra State Office for Textbook Production and program research).
Gosavi said beginning in the 2022-23 academic year, the integrated bilingual textbook will be rolled out to Std I students statewide. “It will then be done for Std II and so on. We will also incorporate changes in accordance with the new education policy, whenever it is implemented. We have received excellent feedback from teachers using this manual. The integrated activities are also appreciated by the students,” he added.
Rekha Varpalliwar, a zilla parishad school A teacher from Chandrapur district, who joined in 1998, says it has been a great initiative, especially for children in remote areas, where schools are far away and students have to walk long distances carrying the heavy bag. “The weight of the bag has decreased. The activities mentioned in the book are also very helpful,” she added.
Manjeeri Khambe, another teacher from the zilla parishad school in Raigad, said that each part of the book has a theme. “The first part is ‘Me and my family’, followed by water, animals and finally the fourth part is transport and the people who help us. Currently, we are teaching the second part. The activities in the book are very easy to do and do not require anything that is not already available. The book is also written in such a way that students can do everything themselves. The focus is on how to learn and on increasing children’s curiosity so that they become lifelong learners,” she said.