CBSE Comic Books

How useful are they for actual preparation of Class 10 and 12 Board Exams?

On March 24, 2021, CBSE Comics were released on account of CBSE’s notions to transform the education system from tedious to more fun and holistic. Hon'ble Minister of Education Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank announced the release of 100+ Comic Books for up to 16 subjects of Class 3 to 12.

These comic books are just another “innovative” initiative by CBSE to improve the education practices for students in CBSE-affiliated schools. Over 1000 school teachers from CBSE-affiliated schools from all over India put in their efforts to create these comic books.

The central idea of these comics is to promote holistic learning in students so that they are able to build strong internal values and confidence, while learning NCERT concepts more clearly, in a fun way.

While these comic books deconstructed the academic content with fun illustrations, worksheets, and real-life examples, the teachers were directed to display issues of gender sensitivity, women empowerment, value education, etc. sensibly.

But where did the idea of these comic books come into imagination?

In 2020, the New Educational Policy (NEP) was launched for the educational community to adopt and implement changes in pedagogical practices. Laying emphasis on Art-integrated education, the policy aims to to develop interest for extra-curricular learning in students. According to the Draft National Policy of Education 2019 as mentioned in a CBSE circular, “Art-integrated education will be embedded in classroom transactions not only for creating joyful classrooms, but also for imbibing the Indian ethos through integration of Indian art and culture in the teaching and learning process at every level.”

Soon after this, CBSE made Art-integrated education mandatory for the Class 1 to 10 students from the 2020-21 session, which now includes the CBSE Comic Books.

While the significance of these comic books for Class 10 and 12 Board exams is yet not clear to us, here are some things that were fundamentally highlighted in the Press Release regarding these CBSE comic books on March 24th.

  • These CBSE Comic books are aligned with New Education Policy 2020 (NEP) that envisions a shift from monotonous textbook learning to holistic understanding of the concepts, enabling the students to apply what they learn into real life.
  • They are supposed to provide momentum to out-of-the-box thinking and creativity in students so that they are able to adapt to the new Art-integrated Education practices promptly.
  • Since each of these comic books are aligned with chapters/ topics of NCERT textbooks in the form of a specific storyline and application-based examples, it is expected that these comic books will decrease the learning gap for students.

Now, before we move on towards our observations on these assertions, let us look at the ways teachers and students can have access to these CBSE comic books.

CBSE has provided several ways through which students and teachers can gain access to these comics digitally. Each of them are explained below.

  • Diksha Platform: All the CBSE comic books are made available on the DIKSHA web portal (diksha.gov.in) and the DIKSHA app for android smartphones. Login to the Diksha account, search and download these e-books to the device.
  • WhatsApp Chat Bot: As per a tweet from @cbseindia29 (CBSE HQ), anyone can gain access to these CBSE comic books via a WhatsApp chat bot as well.
  • Educart Website: Complete PDFs to all the Class 10 and 12 CBSE Comics can also be accessed and downloaded for FREE from here without entering any login information.

With these comic books, CBSE focuses on helping the students be holistic learners by indulging in knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and transformative competencies, and hence be imaginative in their learning process. Most of them has a set format, which includes the following parameters:

  • Learning Outcomes: Which are super important as per the new Competency-based Assessment program.
  • Storyboard and Mind Map: From which the students can get an idea of the content of a comic book.
  • Characters: To learn about who they are going to learn in the story of the comic ahead.

From the look of the content after these parameters, these comic books have the following advantages:

  • Imaginative Visuals: Even though these comic books, often referred to as “Graphic Novels'', are poorly designed with incompetent illustrations, students may find the overall presentation fun to read. They will be able to visualise the concepts with creative imagination of the topic or chapter, being left with a strong recall value of the particular topics.
  • Engaged Learning: The dialogues in bubble boxes and characters maintain the interest in students. Even the students who are not interested in studying about the particular topic will be willing to read these comic books.
  • Recapitulating Elements: Each comic book includes some application-based questions in the form of worksheets, glossary, and event calendar (in Social Science), which are helpful in revising the learned concepts.
  • Real Life Situations: A few instances within the storyline present some important topics of a chapter with a connection to real life experiences. This helps the students understand the purpose of the story and how it is connected to the learning outcomes of the topics/ chapter.

However, a question still arises: Where do these comic books help Class 10 and 12 students to prepare for and perform well in their exams?

After the in-depth analysis of the content of each subject, we found some major shortfalls in these comic books as well, which are as follows.

  • Distractive: Being fun and illustrative also becomes a huge setback of these comic books as the students will be more interested in studying these comic books rather than learning from the CBSE prescribed textbooks. This can cause them to miss out some great details of the topic/ chapter that is otherwise explained in detail in NCERT books.
  • Irrelevant Questions: The worksheets provided between and after the stories are totally not based on the CBSE paper pattern. There are questions like Crosswords, Word Hunt, Match the Following, etc. that will not help the students practice case/ source-based questions. Only some comics contain 1-2 A/R-based questions.
  • Inconsistent Syllabus Coverage: So far, the teachers and students only have a few chapters (and in some subjects, only topics) according to the NCERT textbook. This is simply not enough to add credibility to the students’ study process. If CBSE wants the teachers to adopt this comic book as a consistent learning material, they must at least be available for all chapters.

In conclusion, many students will find these comics interesting to read and as per our observations, these books will also help teachers instil creativity and an innovative pedagogical method for student’s learning. But, using these CBSE comics to clarify the concepts of NCERT chapters is far-fetched. It will only create inconsistency for teachers and students by adding more content to the curriculum; which may already be overwhelming or challenging for many students.


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