HYDERABAD: The Telangana State Council Educational Research and Training’s (TSCERT) decision to make textbooks ‘thought and expression’-oriented rather than being ‘overloaded’ with information has hit mathematics teachers the hardest. With several chapters left incomplete, they rue how they often have to refer to other books to teach the subject.

According to teachers, there are gaps in topics including progressions, trigonometry, quadratic equations, sets, elements of geometry, frequency distribution tables and graphs, among others. So much so, that it is impossible for a student to understand a subject by only relying on SCERT books, teachers claimed.

“It is extremely annoying when we have to refer to multiple books to explain a simple concept,” said B Shivraj, who has been teaching math to high school students for the last 15 years. He added: “Reference books should be used only to gain in-depth knowledge about a subject,”

In fact, many of the problems are even unsolvable. In the ‘try this’ section on Page 201 of Class X textbooks, for instance, problem (iii) on similar triangles has no solution as the data provided is incorrect. Same is the case with another problem on page 212, again on triangles.

“Most of the syllabus is copied from the National Council of Educational Research and Training textbook, but the people entrusted with the responsibility in preparing the state board books couldn’t even do the copy-paste work properly. In an attempt to change the numbers or order of questions in an exercise, they ended up making everything clumsy and complicated,” said P Narendra Swamy, president, Telangana Mathematics Forum. He added, “Generally, questions are printed from easy to hard. However, with writers changing the order of questions, hard questions are printed before the easy ones. This discourages students from even trying to attempt the questions.”

The SCERT officials, however, denied most of the allegations. They maintained that none of the chapters are incomplete and that no errors were committed while publishing the books.

“If a mathematician checks the textbook randomly, he/she will find it incomplete. They have to go through our pointer paper, objectives, syllabus book along with the textbooks and only then they will understand our motive,” said K Rajender Reddy, the coordinator for all these books.

He said that they tried their best to ensure that these books encourage critical thinking among students. “Earlier, books were overcrowded with concepts and sums and students could pass a test by memorising them. In these books, many concepts and questions are left open-ended so that students can think and learn.”

The officials claimed that several topics are spread over multiple classes (between class VI and X) and cited it as another reason for teachers to feel that the chapters are incomplete.

According to teachers, there are gaps in topics including progressions, trigonometry, quadratic equations, sets, elements of geometry, frequency distribution tables and graphs, among others. So much so, that it is impossible for a student to understand a subject by only relying on SCERT books, teachers claimed.

“It is extremely annoying when we have to refer to multiple books to explain a simple concept,” said B Shivraj, who has been teaching math to high school students for the last 15 years. He added: “Reference books should be used only to gain in-depth knowledge about a subject,”

In fact, many of the problems are even unsolvable. In the ‘try this’ section on Page 201 of Class X textbooks, for instance, problem (iii) on similar triangles has no solution as the data provided is incorrect. Same is the case with another problem on page 212, again on triangles.

“Most of the syllabus is copied from the National Council of Educational Research and Training textbook, but the people entrusted with the responsibility in preparing the state board books couldn’t even do the copy-paste work properly. In an attempt to change the numbers or order of questions in an exercise, they ended up making everything clumsy and complicated,” said P Narendra Swamy, president, Telangana Mathematics Forum. He added, “Generally, questions are printed from easy to hard. However, with writers changing the order of questions, hard questions are printed before the easy ones. This discourages students from even trying to attempt the questions.”

The SCERT officials, however, denied most of the allegations. They maintained that none of the chapters are incomplete and that no errors were committed while publishing the books.

“If a mathematician checks the textbook randomly, he/she will find it incomplete. They have to go through our pointer paper, objectives, syllabus book along with the textbooks and only then they will understand our motive,” said K Rajender Reddy, the coordinator for all these books.

He said that they tried their best to ensure that these books encourage critical thinking among students. “Earlier, books were overcrowded with concepts and sums and students could pass a test by memorising them. In these books, many concepts and questions are left open-ended so that students can think and learn.”

The officials claimed that several topics are spread over multiple classes (between class VI and X) and cited it as another reason for teachers to feel that the chapters are incomplete.

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