One cannot deny that textbooks have evolved from their earlier position of a support medium being employed by the teachers to complement his or her teaching method to a point where a good textbook plays an equally important role as a good teacher in a student’s academic life. Nobody can, therefore, deny the importance of a good and well-written textbook.
However, we need to realize that the majority of subjects being taught across various grades in our schools have already been extensively covered. While the publishing industry continues to churn out regular updates of these textbooks, in most cases, the majority of these works already in circulation can remain relevant for years, if not decades. To do so will eliminate an unnecessary development cost with greater economic and environmental benefits.
Since the adoption of internet as a mainstream medium of education, both teachers and students alike have become increasingly adept at using the resources available online to complement their educational pursuits. Similarly, internet-based distance learning programs have enabled a large number of instructors to teach at multiple institutes of learning at the same time. This opportunity and the experience hence garnered can be used to produce online open-source educational textbooks, being updated by students and teachers alike as and when the need arises. This will not only ensure greater participation by the two pillars of our educational system, but will also further increase the pressure on publishing houses to reconsider their pricing mechanisms, as well as providing us with an environment-friendly textbook culture.
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