NCERT deletions discourage debate

Source– The post is based on the article “NCERT deletions discourage debate” published in The Indian Express on 26th June 2023.

Syllabus: GS2- Issues related to development and management of education

Relevance: Issues related to curriculum

News- An act ofrationalising” by NCERT by pruning parts of the textbooks written in 2005 led to protests by the editors and others.

What are the issues involved in the matter?

There are no specific explanations for deletion of certain chapters or sections. It has not been clarified whether the deletion is caused by teaching overload, comprehension challenges or being outdated.

School teachers should have more say in deciding about the revised syllabus, not university academics.

There is no survey of students’ reactions to the themes of the deleted chapters.

73 educational authorities supported the pruning. This is not clear whether they devoted enough time to read and reflect on the deleted chapters.

Names of the experts who suggested the deletions are not in public domain.

The deletions from textbooks of political science and Indian history were done last year. Most recently, ‘Themes in World History’ (Class XI) has also been rationalised. These were written by excellent scholars.

What is the way forward?

There is a need to talk and argue about the content of NCERT books.

History textbooks must be taken seriously. For most of our literate citizens, school textbooks are the only history they will read.

Artists, writers, and researchers must pitch in to make history unforgettable. Thoughtful histories do not simply glorify or denigrate rulers. They explain the intersection between the earth and human activity, between the forces of nature and technology.

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