Daily Editorial Analysis for 21th June 2022

  1. Home
  2. »
  3. Editorial Analysis June 2022
  4. »
  5. Daily Editorial Analysis for 21th June 2022

Textbook errors

Distorted learning outcomes!

• The proposal by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to “rationalise” textbooks of Classes 6 to 12 by removing large and consequential chunks of Indian history is likely to seriously distort learning outcomes for a generation of school children.

NCERT’s justificaion

• The NCERT has justified this heavy editing as a means of lightening the burden on children after two years of disruption in schooling owing to Covid19.

A weak argument!

• With many children attending regular online classes or taking private tuition, which followed the old school syllabi during these two years, it is unclear exactly what extra learning burden they have to bear, now that regular physical classes have begun.

What are the areas where changes have been made?

• The bulk of the reductions have been in history and social sciences.
• The sections on the Delhi Sultanate for Class 7 have been reduced significantly.
• For the same class, a two-page table detailing the achievements of the Mughals have been eliminated as has an entire section on the policies of Akbar and the creation of post-Mughal states.
• Such wholesale elimination has also been accompanied by egregious edits, such as describing Mahmud of Ghazni’s raids as having a religious motive, although the mention of his sacking of the Somnath temple has been removed.
• The erasures to the science syllabus for Classes 7 and 8 are also disturbing, since they delete chapters concerning climate change and pollution, topics that are critical for young people.
• For the Class 11 and 12 textbooks, the Gujarat riots, the Cold War, and the industrial revolution have been dropped.

Consequences of these changes

• These changes are consequential principally because the NCERT’s syllabus and textbooks are the most widely used.
• Around 19 school systems in 14 states have adopted NCERT textbooks.
• Because it works on a no-profit, no-loss basis, NCERT textbooks are far cheaper than most of its equivalents in the market and, therefore, tend to be used more extensively than most others.

Are NCERT textbooks mandatory in schools?

• After a brief controversy between 2018 and 2020, it was clarified that the use of NCERT textbooks in schools under the aegis of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) was not mandatory.

Current Affairs

Recent Posts