Anatomy of textbooks reveals serious problems for students in KP

Peshawar - The anatomy of the textbooks at schools has revealed serious problems for students because of the introduction of English language books that are beyond the comprehension of the majority of students, The Nation learnt during a survey on Saturday.

Sources in the education sector revealed that even the English-language level of teachers is low, let alone the comprehension of English lessons by the students.

The PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, after coming into power, converted all the textbooks from Urdu into the English language, except Urdu and Pashto books. Before the PTI government, the ANP-led government had converted the textbooks into the Pashto language claiming that the students can be better educated if the books are provided and taught in the mother tongue.

In the past, all the textbooks, except English and Pashto, used to be in the Urdu language; such books included General Science, Pak Studies, Islamiyat, Mathematics and others and those were easily comprehensible since the aim of schooling is the education of the younger generation.

A senior educationist, having worked on textbooks, told The Nation that he was confused about why the textbooks were authored in the English language while both students and teachers face problems in comprehending them.

“When the English-language textbooks were introduced, even some teachers contacted me and said they found it difficult to comprehend the books, let alone teaching them to students,” he added.

On the other hand, the majority of the schools are not teaching their students the basics of English language and grammar, such as tenses, active & passive voice and direct & indirect narration. While the textbooks have been converted into English from the primary level, the schools need to teach the basics of English language grammar to students on the level of class-4 or class-5. Under such circumstances, the majority of the students are mentally stressed due to the wrong decision of KP authorities.

In the past, the general subjects like General Science, Pak Studies, Mathematics, etc used to be in Urdu language and those books were appropriate for the students since English is not their first language.

Conversion of textbooks into English

PTI govt converted all textbooks into English language at primary level creating problems for students and teachers, whose English-language level is too low to adopt as medium

A school principal in Peshawar stated that the selection of topics for textbooks is done as per the national curriculum guidelines. “Various firms/authors are assigned different textbooks and later books are selected during the review process” he added.

“However, converting all books into the English language is a bad decision as it is beyond the comprehension of students. Another problem in textbooks is that in some books of school level, the lessons of matric (secondary schools certificate) and F.Sc (higher secondary schools certificate) have been mixed. These lessons, wrongly mixed, are also an injustice to students as these are not of the school level,” he added.

The Nation attempted to get a comment from Director Education KP Hafiz Ibrahim, but he did not pick phone call, nor responded to a text message to explain the government’s perspective, nor did the KP Minister for Elementary and Secondary Education Shahram Khan who also failed to reply to the call or text message delivered on his number.

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