BENGALURU: With rapid urbanisation, it is not surprising that the fauna and flora of the city is getting pushed to the brink. To prevent this, awareness about the environment is the key. And this starts from the school itself. However, there appears to be a lack of proper up-to-date textbooks on the environment.
Environmentalist Leo Saldhana pointed out that textbooks on the environment are outdated, almost 10 years old. “None of the textbooks have proper pictures depicting the plants and animals. So they need to be updated,” he said.
During an event in the city recently with politician and animal rights campaigner Maneka Gandhi, the issue was brought to her notice with environmentalists urging her to ensure updated textbooks on the environment.
“Right now, classes 1 to 5 have a subject called Environmental Science. Students are taught about daily life, nature and the solar system. But there is no separate textbook solely on the environment, which is needed. There is also no activity-based study, like teaching students to identify different varieties of leaves. There is also no topic on sustainable development which is the need of the hour. The subject just has a face value; teaching is happening, but there is no learning,” said M A Khan, principal, KK English High School, Varthur. He added that this was the same situation in all schools in the city.
Dr Jayaraj Amin, member of the board of syllabus and professor at Mangalore University, said Environmental Science is a vast subject and it is difficult to conduct activity-based teaching. “The subject at college-level is not considered for grading as it is not a core subject for someone with a commerce or finance background. But it is required to get your degree certificate. We can only familiarise the students in an academic manner,” he said.
H N Gopalkrishna, Director of the Department of School Educational Research and Training (DSERT), said the Centre will bring in a new education policy next year which will be incorporated in Karnataka as well.