Class VIII student Ashwin Karthik has one less thing to worry about this academic year — he won’t be made to stand outside class for forgetting his textbook. “Even if I want to leave my mathematics textbook behind, I can’t. They are all stuck together,” he says with a cheeky grin.
This is one of the advantages (or disadvantages) that students see with the new system. As the number of textbooks has reduced this year, consequently, the number of notebooks has gone down as well.
The need for a homework book has been eliminated for classes I and II, as they are not required to take back any work from school.
Many of the activities for the higher classes are to be done in school, to ensure that the work is done by the child itself. Each student now has to carry one notebook per subject.
As part of the Formative Assessments, small tests are to be conducted during the class, each not exceeding 10 marks. Shalini Mathandan, a student of Class VI, says, “For these tests, we have a separate notebook. In our school, the teachers keep them, so we do not have to carry them around everyday.” How about having one notebook for multiple subjects to reduce their number? According to the vice-principal of a city school, S Lakshmi, “Correcting the notebooks would be the problem area because each teacher does so at a different pace.”
Besides, this year, many schools ordered the purchase of notebooks before the term textbook system was announced. “But from next year, the size of the notebooks would go down since there will be fewer chapters in each term,” she says.