The launch of the School Chalo Abhiyan in Uttar Pradesh led to 5,000 government-run primary schools receiving the tag of ‘English medium’ since 2 April 2018. It was reported that this has not altered the existing language usage at the ground level in any way.
A check conducted in a primary school in Naubasta Kala in the Chinhat block of Lucknow revealed that students were reading lessons from old books in Hindi. The reason behind this was the unavailability of the new English textbooks.
It was reported that the process of printing of these textbooks is ongoing and they will finally be made available by next month. Till then, students will have to continue with their Hindi books from the previous academic sessions.
Sarvendra Vikram Bahadur Singh, Director of Basic Education, said in an order issued on 27th March 2018 that, “In view of the delay in printing of new books, the old textbooks shall be distributed free among students till such time the new books get printed. Once the new books arrive, they will replace the old ones.”
Some teachers from the school were found to be teaching English alphabets through charts and sketch pens while others were found to be making use of the blackboard to do so. They mentioned that this delay in the provision of textbooks is leading to distraction among students and is affecting their studies.
Students were currently managing with the old textbooks of their seniors. A teacher from a government primary school in Nirala Nagar said, “The old books are in a bad shape. Moreover, not every student has received books. They are yet to get a feel of the new session.”
The board took the decision of beginning their academic session from April onwards in 2015 instead of July, following the practices of the ICSE and CBSE boards. The last year session also found students without textbooks for several months. They finally received the books on the reopening of the school in July, after the summer break.