Guide books are everywhere

Yesterday, when I was scrolling through my facebook, I stopped at a news link about guide books. Guide books or guess papers are collections of selected questions and answers targeted for final examinations for school level students.

Education, Science and Technology ministry has stopped the use of guide books and guess papers for school level education till class 12. The ministry has issued Syllabus, Curriculum Development and Distribution Directive 2076 to mitigate the use of those books last month. But, as final examinations approach quickly, guide books have appeared in markets openly and excessively.

Guide books decay the students’ effort in learning. These books select some portions and students only study those part avoiding other sections. Guide books follow repetition formula such that questions repeatedly asked in previous exams are listed. Less asked questions and portions are kept away.

If those questions appear in exams then students relying only on those guide books can’t answer properly. Guide books and guess papers promote studying only for exams. They denounce the learning environment by less prioritising portions which are not asked in previous exams but are important in learning about the subjects. Exam oriented study may get you good marks but your overall knowledge is compromised. So good teachers and professors recommend textbooks only. Textbooks give wholesome knowledge about the subject one is studying.

There are problems with text books as well. In Nepal, there are few textbooks which are good and interesting to read for school level students. Personally, I prefer international writers who know how to grab readers’ attention and equally provide excellent grasp of the subject matter. For instance, Dutch/American professor Andrew S Tanenbaum has written several books on computer net0works. He has lucidly explained the concepts in simple words and sometimes, in sarcastic ways. His writings can hold readers for longer span of time which is lacking in Nepali writers. His most widely read and sold books are ‘Computer Networks’ and ‘Modern Operating System’.

On the other hand, government schools in highly remote areas can’t distribute textbooks on time. Every year students get textbooks only after Dashain. So these students can’t complete the whole course on time. In this case, guide books may come handy.