Heavy school bags to go as Thane civic body plans monthly textbooks

Neeraj Tiwari
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TMC has 150 primary schools.

School bags of nearly 27,000 students enrolled in Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) schools are set to become lighter soon. Starting June, the civic body is planning to roll out comprehensive textbooks for classes I to VIII with a few chapters on each subject to be taught during the period of a month.

The proposal, expected to be placed before the TMC on January 20, states that students at present have to carry textbooks meant for the entire academic year in their bags when teachers do not teach all the chapters at once. The corporation, it says, has decided to bring out month-wise textbooks, combining chapters of all the subjects taught in a particular standard to reduce the weight of their school bags.

The monthly textbooks, the proposal adds, will include three to four chapters of each subject, which is what most teachers cover in one month.

Currently, eight subjects are taught in four different mediums — Marathi, Hindi, English and Urdu — at TMC-run schools. Four chapters of each subject will be included in the month-wise textbooks allowing students to carry only one book and a notebook.

The TMC has 150 primary schools with nearly 37,000 students, of whom nearly 27,000 are in classes I to VIII.

“The Bombay High Court and the Maharashtra government both wanted to reduce the weight of school bags. The TMC will be the first one to do it,” TMC Secretary Manish Joshi told The Sunday Express.

“This new book system will be applicable for the students from Class I to VIII,” Joshi said. He added that the proposal is expected to be passed in TMC House Monday.

TMC gets books from the Pune Shikshan Parishad of the state education board before each academic session. The new books arrive by February end and over the next the three months these are supplied to all TMC schools before the new session commences in June.

To implement the monthly textbooks proposal, Joshi said, the civic body has already given contracts to bookbinders. Once the books are received, they will bind relevant chapters and by the end of March, books will be distributed to all TMC-run schools.

“A total 10 to 12 books for each class will be made for each academic term. The project cost will cost Rs 3 crore,” Joshi said. He added that preparations for the proposal were in the final stage and “if all goes well, then the new system will start from June”.

In 2015, TMC had planned to introduce lockers to allow students of Class I and II to leave their books and other stationery in the schools itself. The proposal was dropped later.