Math phobia among +2 students assumes alarming propositions

Srinagar, Dec 9: Mathematics as a subject is loved and studied by students world over with increasing interest and the number of students taking it as a subject of study is increasing every year exce...

Srinagar, Dec 9: Mathematics as a subject is loved and studied by students world over with increasing interest and the number of students taking it as a subject of study is increasing every year excepting this part of world—Jammu and Kashmir.
 In Jammu and Kashmir, the enrollment in the subject is dwindling with every passing year since 2002-03 session. Those teaching Maths attribute the decline to A K Roy's Mathematics books introduced at plus two level by Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (BOSE) in 2002-03.  
 "If we have a glance at the admission records of plus two classes of various higher secondary schools, it will take us little time to know that roll in the Mathematics is on decline. Gravity of situation is strongly felt by all Mathematics loving persons to the extent that it grabbed media attention. A brainstorming programme was organized in the programme Sitaroan Se Agae on Doordarshan Kendra on September 9, in which all participants including experts, teachers and students focussed their attention on this burning issue," says Avinash Chander Aima, field advisor, State Institute of Education (SIE), Srinagar, in his article appearing in the latest issue of Edu-News, a bi-monthly departmental newsletter of directorate of school education Kashmir (DSEK).  
 Avinash says that experts attribute the phobia for the subject to gaps in syllabus of Mathematics at secondary and higher secondary level. A student getting more than 90% marks in the subject in class 10th generally fails to repeat the same achievement at plus two level, says Avinash.
 "A number of teachers teaching Mathematics at plus two level informed the BOSE authorities from time to time about the gaps and recommended for change of books but to no avail," said a plus two lecturer teaching mathematics.
 According to well placed sources in the directorate of school education, Kashmir, the director school education Muhammad Rafi has officially intimated the chairman J&K BOSE that the fraternity of Math teachers are dead against A K Roy's Book which, according to them, is seen as inappropriate in terms of content and quality. The director education has, without mincing any words, demanded replacement of the R K Roy's Math for Class 11th and 12th by appropriate textbooks.
 The teaching community, according to sources, has requested the chairman BOSE to replace A K Ray's books by either NCERT or CBSC books. "But the BOSE authorities seem indifferent to change the books for the reasons better known to them alone," said an official of directorate.
 When contacted, the director academics, BOSE, Dr Sheikh Bashir Ahmad, said, "The core committee constituted by the BOSE has already recommended for development of news books on Science and Mathematics. It also issued a notice to the publishers some three months ago to stop printing of A K Roy's series for J&K. Hopefully, new books will be developed, published and introduced in the curriculum from the next session."
 Dr Bashir said A K Roy's Mathematics series was introduced after it was duly recommended by the experts. "Out of about 35 experts including teachers from higher secondary schools, colleges and University, 25 recommended the series," said the director academics.
 When asked about the case in crime branch, Dr Bashir said, "Yes, crime branch is investigating how the series was introduced in the state." 
 Meanwhile, the president Jammu and Kashmir Plus Two Lecturers' Forum Muhammad Usman Malik has blamed the Board for introducing R K Roy's Mathematics series. He alleged that the commission rather than sincerity and requirement had been the driving force behind introducing the series. He, while talking to GK over phone, demanded that the series should be replaced by NCERT or CBSC books right from the current session.
 Usman appealed to the Commissioner, State Vigilance Organization (SVO), for investigation to ascertain the intention and motivation behind the introduction of A K Roy's Mathematics series.
 Despite repeated calls, the chairman BOSE did not respond. 

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