CBSE-ICSE students struggle to get Malayalam textbooks; Black markets thrive in state

K. Padmajan

As teaching Malayalam has been made compulsory in the schools in Kerala, all schools are following ‘Kerala Padavali’ and ‘Malayalam Adisthana Padavali’ textbooks.

Kochi: The students of CBSE-ICSE syllabus have to pay a whopping price to get Malayalam textbooks. The sales of ‘Kerala Padavali’ and ‘Malayalam Adisthana Padavali’ books for various standards are thriving in black market.

Parents of CBSE-ICSE students are struggling to get the books as the price is fixed depending on the demand. As teaching Malayalam has been made compulsory in schools in Kerala, all schools are following ‘Kerala Padavali’ and ‘Malayalam Adisthana Padavali’ textbooks.

However, Malayalam textbooks are presently distributed in government and aided schools only. The CBSE-ICSE students are unable to obtain the Malayalam textbooks of the classes from first to XII standard.

Exploiting this situation, a parallel sales team has been formed in the state. They sell monochrome Photostat copies of the colourful original textbooks. Some of them even print the books in low quality papers from Sivakasi. A few of the CBSE schools print the books in the school’s name also.

The major attraction of the Malayalam textbooks is the colourful pictures. But the CBSE students get only the books printed in monochrome. The book is provided free of cost upto eighth standard in government schools.

There are no proper guidelines for Malayalam teaching till class 8 in CBSE schools. Each school follows different methods and books. Presently, the number of students in CBSE-ICSE schools are higher than that of the government-aided schools. Malayalam textbook is not available for them.

The request for the chief minister’s intervention in this issue was put forward in 2017 itself. The matter was raised in a delegate meeting held in Kochi and the chief minister had agreed to take action.

Later, All Kerala Publishers and Book Sellers Association secretary Jayachandran CICC sent a letter to the chief minister in this regard. But no further action was taken except for handing over the letter to the concerned department.

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