By Abdul Bari Masoud
Aurangabad: On a PIL, seeking Urdu textbooks for more than 25,000 students across the state, the Bombay High Court’s Aurangabad bench has issued notices on March 10 to the Maharashtra government and Maharashtra Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Boards (MSBSHSE) to submit their reply before April 7.
Fed up with the ‘discriminatory’ attitude and lukewarm response from the State government and the State Education Board, a student outfit, the Students’ Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) has petitioned for the court’s direction to the government and the State Education Board to print or provide the textbooks in Urdu medium to 10th and 12th standard students. SIO has taken up the matter as thousands of Urdu medium students’ educational careers are at stake. Admitting the PIL, the division bench of justices R M Borde and A M Badar has directed the respondents to explain their position. It is to be mentioned here that the MSBSHSE has been now publishing 11th and 12th standards’ books only in Marathi and English languages whereas the Urdu medium students were left on the mercy of private publishers. In the absence of quality textbooks, thousands of students from 562 Urdu medium Jr. Colleges spread across the state have been compelled to learn from sub-standard books on subjects like Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Sociology, Political Science, Geography, History, Economics and Secretarial Science etc.
The Maharashtra State Bureau of Textbook Production and Curriculum Research, Balbharti published textbooks for secondary and higher-secondary students but since 2010 it stopped publishing Urdu books for 10th and 12thstandards. This discriminatory act of the Balbharati has irked the Urdu medium junior college teachers as well as students as they faced lot of difficulties in learning and teaching process.
Since 2010, students who take the State Board’s higher secondary exams in Urdu have been denied the textbooks they need to study under any of the three primary streams” science, commerce and arts.
Teachers and students are not happy with the government decision of abandoning its responsibility of providing textbooks. They have taken up the matter with the concerned authorities but in vain. Mohammad Ali said, “We have taken up the issue with both State Education Minister Rajendra Darda and Minister for School Education, Fauzia Khan. Despite repeated assurances of immediate action, nothing has been done.”
Meanwhile, the BAMCEF has announced that it will take up the matter with the authorities and launch a statewide stir. While talking to ‘Islamic Voice’ BAMCEF President Waman Meshram said it is shocking the attitude of the education board. He alleged that education authorities are playing with the future of thousands of students.