Burn these books, please!

BY PERVEZ HOODBHOY

NO, I take that back. Books shouldn’t ever be burned. Instead recycle the paper, use for wrapping vegetables or fish, or dispose of in some environmentally friendly way. But please keep our students away from the rotten science textbooks published by the Sindh Textbook Board (STB), an entity operating under the Sindh Ministry of Education. Else yet another generation will end up woefully ignorant of the subjects they study — physics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology. Tragically they will see these magnificent human achievements as pointless, boring, and dry as dust.

Keep our students away from the rotten science textbooks published by the Sindh Textbook Board.

I have a pile of STB books before me at the moment. Both in English and Urdu, they are the officially prescribed texts for classes 4 to 10 (ages 10 to 16) and are in current use. In addition, I have two manuscripts on general science for classes 4 and 5, scheduled for publication this year or next. My blood pressure is steadily rising as I turn the pages, and I take careful sips of water.

Imagine the torture inflicted on a class 4 kid from Sindh, a non-native speaker of English, when confronted with difficult words (no explanations provided) like ‘obesity’, ‘ulcer’, ‘characteristics’, ‘interpret’, ‘deficiency’, ‘osteoporosis’, ‘decomposers’, ‘ecoregion’, ‘translucent’, ‘trough’, ‘lukewarm’, ‘constriction’, etc. In class 5, he will be haunted by monster words like ‘monocotyledonous’ and ‘dicotyledonous’. Strewn across these unattractive books are hazy diagrams, hundreds of capitalisation and spelling mistakes, plus countless grammatically incorrect sentences.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1225815

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