Reveries

A mishmash of spirituality, human relationship, adult and children's literature, news analyses and anti-road-rage tirades

A regulatory authority for school textbook publishing in India?

book-958108_1280

Image source: Pixabay

Recently, there has been a lot of hue and cry among private publishing houses in the business of making textbooks for school children. This is because of a news that supposedly says that the Indian government is banning textbooks from private publishers and making it mandatory for schools to use textbooks from the government-funded publisher (NCERT) only.

I think the issue stems from a clash between two divergent schools of thought revolving around textbooks published by private players:

  1. PARENTS ARE VICTIMS. Textbooks from private publishers, although not required by law, are being prescribed by schools because of the schools’ business interests. So all schools should adopt only NCERT books, which are cheaper. Most newspapers in India subscribe to this view.
  2. PRIVATE PUBLISHERS ARE VICTIMS. By bringing in a ban to use textbooks from private publishers, the government is supposedly trying to shut down an entire industry comprising highly-paid authors, content developers, editors, illustrators, graphic designers and allied professionals. Most newspapers in India do not even discuss this as an issue, although an utter fear psychosis prevails within the industry.

But somehow the debates seem to ignore the most important stakeholders—the students using the books. In fact they are the victims.

Regardless of the fact whether the books are published by NCERT or private publishers, textbooks require to maintain certain standards in quality. Here is a non-exhaustive list of quality parameters for textbooks.

  • content
    • pedagogical requirements
    • level-appropriateness
    • treatment
    • extent of coverage
    • accuracy
    • sensitivity to genders, races, faiths, disabilities, common stereotypes and misconceptions
    • adherence to syllabus
  • visual appeal
  • utility in classroom situations
  • supplementary audio/video/multimedia material
  • production quality
  • support system and hand-holding to teachers
  • efficient and timely deliver to meet demands

In most cases, barring a few, textbooks from most private publishers score far better on almost all counts. But quality comes with a price. Hence, these textbooks come with much higher price tags. In the absence of any regulation, at times the prices can be just whimsical.

The NCERT books on the other hand may score considerably lower in terms of quality and definitely lower in terms of meeting the demand. These books are available at throw-away prices.

Seemingly, the children seem to be exposed either to the best or the worst depending upon how much their parents are affording. And parents, without the expertise to evaluate books on the required parameters, think that they have every right to choose affordability over quality.

My question is—do we have such a right to decide the children’s future in monetary terms only?

In the interest of the learners, who are the future of the nation, I would rather propose a new idea. In my opinion, both government and private agencies should come together to formulate an unbiased, not-for-profit regulatory authority in the line of IRDA, TRAI, etc. This authority can keep an eye on all the parameters discussed above.

The sooner this happens, the better for the nation.

Filed under: Children's Educational Books, Current News, , , , ,

Pleasure

I thought of trying my hand at writing a short story today. Took me two hours to devise the plot, write the story and upload it on my blog. I will be grateful if you can spend a few while reading it and giving your valuable feedback in the comments section below.

Mrs X discovered her neighbour after a long time, quite surprised to find her standing beside the entrance. “Long time no see!” gleaned Mrs X with an ear-to-ear smile, “Where have you been all these days?”

“Just get in,” she motioned towards her living room, “Let’s catch up over a cup of tea”.

“That’s okay,” replied Mrs Y with a smirk, “Thank you”.

“I’m in a hurry. Will catch up with you later,” she spoke the words as she dashed unexpectedly towards her residence and vanished.

***

A woman aged forty-twoish barged into her bedroom, heaving deeply all the way. Her face was both red with fear and bright with snobbish pride.

The twelve-year old budding painter, seated on the bed, glanced her mother without raising her head. She immediately recognised her familiar body language during moments of triumph and adventurous escape.

“What’s the trophy this time, mom?” she raised the much-awaited poser.

“Sabotaged her plumerias,” she replied with a genuine chuckle.

Pleasure - A short story on nosy neighbours

Plumerias (Image courtesy: Wikipedia)

“Sabotaged whose plumerias?”

“That rustic simpleton’s,” she responded motioning towards the house next door.

“You mean, Aunt X’s?”

“Who else?” explained Mrs Y, adding, “And she thought I was waiting beside her entrance for her tea!”

“But mom, what do you gain by devastating blooming flowers? Poor little plants and their hard-working owners!”

“Pleasure, my daughter, pleasure!”

***

Next morning, while watering her little front garden, Mrs X was at her wit’s end figuring out how the top part of her young plumeria plant could have separated completely from the stem below. It had been just a few days that the plant started bearing flowers.

“Didn’t I tell you the last time when my dahlias were destroyed? Never ever harm the plants, got it?” she charged her little daughter.

Mrs Y, standing in her high-walled veranda, thought herself to be doubly lucky to be an audience to the high drama going on in the house next door.

“Pleasure, my child, pleasure!” she thought.

Filed under: Flash Fiction, Relationships, Short Story, , , , , , , ,

Road Word of the Day: foofaraw

Zero Tolerance to Road Rage

Here’s the road word for today:

foofaraw meaning, foofaraw pronunciation, foofaraw usage, foofaraws

If you are a word-lover, who wants to suggest us an alternative road usage sentence or even a new Road Word of the Day, you are welcome to speak your heart. We will try to incorporate your ideas in future posts. Also, you may send us constructive suggestions on our fight against road rage. Happy road-wording…

How to subscribe?
You can subscribe to the Road Word of the Day service by any of the following ways:

If you are one of those users who are not wired to any of the above social media, you can still get your favourite Road Word delivered at your mail box. You simply need to either…

View original post 98 more words

Filed under: Road Rage

1000 Likes Campaign Launched

Zero Tolerance to Road Rage

Facebook campaign, 1000 likes, community pages, causes, volunteering, social media

The political, the corporate or the non-profit biggies, nowadays, spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for campaigning in the social media. The general purpose behind such campaigns usually ranges from sales, promotions and product awareness to after-sales service, thought leadership and personal touch.

It is now almost true that any social cause, however noble, can never expect to help its ultimate beneficiaries without the direct or indirect help of social media. This is evident from the rise of websites like Causes.com, Change.org or Thepetitionsite.com.

For ZTTRR, especially, this is more relevant, given the fact that we aim to sensitize the public in general and the road-users in particular about the evils of road rage and how to avoid it using the Gandhian principles of non-violence and non-compromise. Unfortunately, we do not have a fat budget, unlike most others.

At the same time, we are more than sure that there is no…

View original post 154 more words

Filed under: Road Rage

Road Word of the Day: irascible

Zero Tolerance to Road Rage

Here’s the road word for today:

irascible meaning, irascible pronunciation, irascible usage, irascibility, irascibleness, irascibly, unirascibility, unirascible

If you are a word-lover, who wants to suggest us an alternative road usage sentence or even a new Road Word of the Day, you are welcome to speak your heart. We will try to incorporate your ideas in future posts. Also, you may send us constructive suggestions on our fight against road rage. Happy road-wording…

How to subscribe?
You can subscribe to the Road Word of the Day service by any of the following ways:

If you are one of those users who are not wired to any of the above social media, you can still get your favourite Road Word delivered at your mail box. You simply need to either…

View original post 98 more words

Filed under: Road Rage

Road Word of the Day: gadabout

Zero Tolerance to Road Rage

Here’s the road word for today:

gadabout meaning, gadabout pronunciation, gadabout usage, gadabouts

If you are a word-lover, who wants to suggest us an alternative road usage sentence or even a new Road Word of the Day, you are welcome to speak your heart. We will try to incorporate your ideas in future posts. Also, you may send us constructive suggestions on our fight against road rage. Happy road-wording…

How to subscribe?
You can subscribe to the Road Word of the Day service by any of the following ways:

If you are one of those users who are not wired to any of the above social media, you can still get your favourite Road Word delivered at your mail box. You simply need to either…

View original post 98 more words

Filed under: Road Rage

Road Word of the Day: uxorious

Zero Tolerance to Road Rage

Here’s the road word for today:

uxorious meaning, uxorious pronunciation, uxorious usage, uxoriously, uxoriousness, unuxorious, unuxoriously, unuxoriousness

If you are a word-lover, who wants to suggest us an alternative road usage sentence or even a new Road Word of the Day, you are welcome to speak your heart. We will try to incorporate your ideas in future posts. Also, you may send us constructive suggestions on our fight against road rage. Happy road-wording…

How to subscribe?
You can subscribe to the Road Word of the Day service by any of the following ways:

If you are one of those users who are not wired to any of the above social media, you can still get your favourite Road Word delivered at your mail box. You simply need to either join the Google Group or follow this…

View original post 87 more words

Filed under: Road Rage

The gentlest weapon to slay the harshest adversary

A tribute to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi by me on the ZTTRR blog…

Zero Tolerance to Road Rage

non-violence, satyagraha, Martyrs’ Day, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Gandhi, Gandhiji, Gandhian principles, peace, collage

Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhiji and Bapu are just a few names by which people today love to remember Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Besides successfully leading India’s freedom struggle against the British, Gandhi is known for presenting to the world a very powerful yet simple tool to fight injustices and conflicts through peace, truth, logic and steadfastness. This, he called, the principle of Satyagraha.

Satyagraha (pronounced, suht-yuh-gruh-huh), loosely translated as ‘insistence on truth’, is a policy of non-violent resistance or civil resistance. It is, however, different from passive resistance, as understood and practised in the West. In Gandhi’s own words, Satyagraha is different from passive resistance “in three essentials: Satyagraha is a weapon of the strong; it admits of no violence under any circumstance whatsoever; and it ever insists upon truth.”*

Satyagraha has proved to be the most potent weapon in the world. Peace attained…

View original post 444 more words

Filed under: Current News, Road Rage, , , , , , , , , , ,

Road Word of the Day: pleonasm

Zero Tolerance to Road Rage

Here’s the road word for today:

pleonasm meaning, pleonasm pronunciation, pleonasm usage, pleonastic, pleonastically, pleonasms

If you are a word-lover, who wants to suggest us an alternative road usage sentence or even a new Road Word of the Day, you are welcome to speak your heart. We will try to incorporate your ideas in future posts. Also, you may send us constructive suggestions on our fight against road rage. Happy road-wording…

How to subscribe?
You can subscribe to the Road Word of the Day service by any of the following ways:

If you are one of those users who are not wired to any of the above social media, you can still get your favourite Road Word delivered at your mail box. You simply need to either join the Google Group or follow this…

View original post 87 more words

Filed under: Road Rage

Road Word of the Day: femme fatale

Zero Tolerance to Road Rage

Here’s the road word for today:

femme fatale meaning, femme fatale pronunciation, femme fatale usage, femmes fatales

If you are a word-lover, who wants to suggest us an alternative road usage sentence or even a new Road Word of the Day, you are welcome to speak your heart. We will try to incorporate your ideas in future posts. Also, you may send us constructive suggestions on our fight against road rage. Happy road-wording…

How to subscribe?
You can subscribe to the Road Word of the Day service by any of the following ways:

If you are one of those users who are not wired to any of the above social media, you can still get your favourite Road Word delivered at your mail box. You simply need to either join the Google Group or follow this…

View original post 87 more words

Filed under: Road Rage

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