Malayalam script reform in Kerala school textbooks sparks concern over impact on students

SMV school
Representational image: Manorama

Thiruvananthapuram: The recent script reform incorporated into the revised school textbooks has ignited concerns over how the students adapt to the same and the impact on their academic performances during the transition period.

The new Malayalam textbooks for classes 1,3, 5, 7, and 9 are printed in the traditional script that uses the maximum compound characters (kootaksharam). The textbooks with the current Malayalam script will be taught in classes 2,4,6,8 and 10 in the next academic year. However, they too face the issue when the revised textbooks printed using the classic script will be introduced during the 2025-26 academic year.

The change in the script, though, won’t affect the students starting to learn the Malayalam alphabet in Class 1, as they won’t be losing the continuity. However, students of classes 2,4,6, and 8, who learn in the current Malayalam script this year, will have to abruptly adapt to the traditional script from the next academic year. Educators and parents express worries about its potential adverse effects on students.

The students, presently studying in Class 1, will encounter the issue when they reach Class 3. Many experts in the Curriculum Revision Committee have pointed out the difficulty posed to the students because of the script reform. However, the Government decided to go ahead with the Expert Committee on Language Guidelines recommendation and implement the reform in the next academic year itself.

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