Take 5 | There will be blank pages after each chapter. Students will not need notebooks: Deepak Kesarkar, Maharashtra Education Minister

As part of the plan to reduce the weight of backpacks, Maharashtra’s new education minister, Deepak Kesarkar, has proposed dividing textbooks into three parts and attaching blank pages, where students can take notes.

1. What is the idea behind the initiative?

The idea is to divide the textbooks into three parts, a system where there will be a new textbook per semester. For each part of the textbook, after each lesson there may be blank pages, which can be used as a notebook. Students will not have to carry separate notebooks.

2. Will the blank pages be enough to write notes?

We want to give students the space to take notes after the lesson. This will inculcate the habit of writing things down and increase efficiency. Because the notes are next to the lesson, they become ready references when a student prepares for that topic.

3. Will the additional pages mean an increase in costs?

No. And if there is an additional cost of even Rs 70-80 crore, the government will bear it. I have the CM’s approval for the funds.

4. When will the plan be launched?

It should be ready when the new set of textbooks goes to print before the next academic year.

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5. Will it be enough to guarantee lighter bags?

Although other school bag items continue, this initiative will have reduced a significant part of the burden. After its implementation, we may not need any further initiative for this purpose.

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