Students’ views of impact of textbooks on their achievements

Riaz Hussain, Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


The history of curricula and textbooks development in Pakistan has remained contentious particularly during Zia Ul Haq era (1977- 1988) and after. There have been quite a few reviews of the curricula and textbooks undertaken both by Ministry of Education, Government of Pakistan and independent researchers. These reviews have mainly employed document/textbook analysis methods and few of them explored teachers or students’ views of curricula and textbooks. This paper argues that since teachers and students are the ultimate users and beneficiaries of textbooks so their views are worth exploring before suggesting or initiating any change process including curricula and textbooks reforms. To fill some of this gap, therefore, this study explored secondary school students’ views of impacts textbooks had on their achievements. Data were collected through a questionnaire from a sample of 112 secondary school students of Karachi. The data were analysed and chi-square test was applied to test the hypotheses at 5% level of significance. The analysis of data indicated that Oxford University Press (OUP) textbooks had more impact for the achievement of students than Sindh Textbook Board (STB) textbooks. The study highlights curricula and textbooks as debatable phenomena and has attempted to bring students’ perspective into this debate. Based on its findings, this paper suggests reforms in the curricula and textbooks in order to enhance their impact for students’ achievements and calls for further research to explore students and teachers’ voices in order to undertake meaningful curricular reforms in Pakistan.