Errors in academic textbooks and rectification measures

The issue of grammatical and even factual errors in academic textbooks such as in Bhutan Civic and History textbooks among others have been pointed out. This issue was discussed during the Education Dialogue organised by the Ministry of Education and where journalists were invited.

The Curriculum Director of the Education Ministry said that they try to make text books error free but there are still errors. “Some books that contain errors are the older versions of the textbooks and some schools are using the old versions of the textbooks,” he said.

He added that every year they have new editions and these new editions should not have as much errors as the old one, as they revise the books, rectify the mistakes and even update the right information. He said that most of the edited text books are error free.

“We are trying to be very careful with the errors. However, in the classrooms teachers are correcting the errors as they teach and come across them,” he said.

Last year, a number of issues, constraints and challenges pertaining to the existing school curriculum were unearthed at the national school curriculum review pre-conference to asses and review the findings and feedback from over 500 schools.

During that conference, reviews of the existing curriculum were done after errors in textbooks were brought to public attention. Experts and officials in education ministry, Royal Education Council and teachers, among others, are meeting to assess and analyze these reviews from dzongkhags.

The indication is that there are issues for almost every subject. Issues include the need for curriculum frameworks and retrenching, addressing outdated information, lack of teaching and learning materials, and teacher professional development.

“We are try to be progressive and within the last six months, we have come up with the 10 subject curriculum frame works which previously didn’t have a curriculum frame work,” the Curriculum Director said. He added that these frame works are the guideline which will guide the curriculum developer to develop the curriculum and the teacher would also guide as to how they translate the curriculum in teaching.

“We have drafted the 10 curriculum frame works and still we have 2-3 subjects that we need to develop. With the change of the frame work textbooks will also tremendously change,” he added.

School subject like Bhutan History and Civics textbooks are found to have the most errors.

Tandin Dorji, President of Norbuling Rigter College in Paro said that when they are developing Bhutan Civic it was a time when Bhutan was transitioning to a democracy, there was so much pressure from government and as well as from others that they should have textbook ready in three months for the classes of seven to 12. “I read the post error related Civics and Bhutan history curriculum and I agree that we have errors.”

“There was so much of rush and things could not be scrutinized well and I have to agree that things are improving now,” he said.

With regards to some of the terminology and spelling error in the textbooks, he said when they were developing a textbook they did not have any final information as even the Election Act, Anti Corruption Act and everything was in the draft stages and text books was written in that form.

“Today I see better editions and may be in the near future we will have textbooks which are error free.  It will not be a problem for the student,” he said.

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