Pune: Balbharati is again in the news for all the wrong reasons. This time, nearly 10 pages in the Geography textbook for Std VI Marathi medium students are in the Gujarati language. Although Balbharati officials claimed that only 11 textbooks had this error, whispers from the educational circles confirmed that there were many such copies which got distributed.
The fact came to light after NCP leader Sunil Tatkare raised the question during the Monsoon session of the Assembly on Monday.
Although Education Minister Vinod Tawde assured that action will be taken against the printing press where this mistake happened, retired officials from the education circles questioned the need of sending the books for printing outside the State.
One of the retired officials of the State Board, Pune division, on condition of anonymity, said, “I wonder why Balbharati or the State decided to give the printing of the books outside the State when we had enough confidential press where the books earlier were printed, binded and distributed.”
Another official said the binding is done by the people who are less educated and thus, the pages got exchanged. Meanwhile, highly placed officials from Balbharati told Sakal Times that there were around 11 such textbooks which had content in Gujarati, but these books have been recalled.
Interestingly, a set of these Geography textbooks (Marathi) were apparently dispatched in Mhasla town in Raigad district. According to the school teachers teaching the subject, “The errors affected a few important topics that included topics on natural resources and energy sources. Pages of Gujarati language got mixed in these lessons thus affecting the curriculum.”
The block education officer of Mhasla confirmed that the incident was reported last week. “Generally, after the school re-opens on June 15, at least for 15 days schools take the revision of previous year’s syllabus. Therefore, the mistakes were not detected immediately after schools started. Also, these errors were observed in between end topics so it went unnoticed. However, a few parents who noticed it, complained about it and informed the school authorities. Three books have been sent as samples to Balbharati, Pune,” said an officer, on condition of anonymity.
Tawde, while answering in the Assembly, said that action will be taken against the printing press as per the terms and condition mentioned in the tender. He had requested the students who have received the textbooks with errors and other stakeholders including vendors, store managers and distribution departments to immediately return the textbooks. Tawde also assured that the Balbharati has swung into action and necessary steps are being taken to ensure that none of the students’ academic year gets affected by this mistake.