New Delhi: The HRD Ministry is understood to have asked state governments and education boards to make text books more age-equivalent and simple in keeping with the spirit of Right to Education Act.

The ministry has suggested that the books be prepared in such a way that students can relate to the language as the lack of it is not bringing the best out of them, HRD sources said.

Special emphasis has been laid on developing the curriculum on the basis of the National Curriculum Framework of 2005.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, who had recently voiced concern over text books of various state boards not being age-equivalent, has indicated to chief ministers to ensure curriculum development, attendance of teachers in classes and enhanced teacher training programme, they said.

"We can prescribe the quality of syllabi and set standards but ultimately the text books are prepared by the state governments, but I daresay the content of the textbooks are such that they are not age-equivalent," Sibal said.

The minister's views came in the wake of education surveys highlighting the fact that students of Class V had difficulties reading even Class II books and in solving simple mathematics.
The Annual Status of Education Report, released by Pratham last month, said basic reading levels also showed a decline in many states across north India, with the number of children in Class V capable of reading Class II level dropping from 53.7 percent in 2010 to 48.2 percent in 2011.

Among Class V children, it said, the ability to do similar subtraction problem dropped from 70.9 percent in 2010 to 61 per cent in 2011.