Class VIII students to read Joy Goswami, Bibhutibhusan, Salil Chowdhury
POULOMI GHOSH
poulomi@thestatesman.net
Kolkata, 21 July
Joy Goswami, Salil Chowdhury and Bibhutibhusan Bandyopadhyay ~ all on the same platter.
This is how the Bengali curriculum of Class VIII (West Bengal Board) will wear a look from next year onwards.
The expert committee, set up by the state government in 2011, plans to include a poem by modern Bengali poet Joy Goswami. Breaking away from the trend of studying prose and poetry pieces in language texts, the committee has plans to include songs. Compositions of Salil Chowdhury, Jyotirindranath Maitra, Abbasuddin Ahmed might become a part of the Bengali syllabus.
At the same time, Pather Panchali (The Song Of the Road)~ the entire novel by Bibhutibhusan Bandyopadhyay will be read as a Rapid Reader.
Including a poem of Joy Goswami in secondary level might appear as a "daring" step for many but for the expert committee, it will be just a continuation. The new syllabus of Class XI includes Nun (Salt)~ a poem by Joy Goswami.
"Learning Rabindrasangeet in the form of poems is not new. Then why not other music composers of later period? We have planned to include some compositions of Salil Chowdhury. The list may feature Jyotirindranth Maitra and Abbasuddin," said Mr Avik Majumder, chairman of the expert committee, explaining the new genre of school text book.
Abbasuddin Ahmed, folk song composer, is noted for Bhawaiya folk song and
Jyotirinidranath Maitra was associated with Indian People’s Theatre Association.
This year, new curricula have been introduced in Classes I, III, V, VII and XI and the expert committee is now working for the curricula of the rest of the classes~ II, IV, VI and VIII, which will be introduced from next year.  Regarding Pather Panchali, the chairman said: "In an attempt to include a full novel, we introduced the idea of rapid reader. Now children are studying Maku by Leela Majumdar in Class VII. For Class VI, we have selected Ha Ja Ba Ra La."  In selection of texts~ be it for any class~ the theme of gender sensitivity and old-age problems have been kept in mind. In association with Kolkata Police, the expert committee is forming curricula of physical education which includes disaster management and live saving skills.