‘New textbooks mixing mythology with history’

After the recent controversy over deletion of chapters on Jawaharlal Nehru in textbooks in Rajasthan, a group of educational experts have found the new school textbooks in the state to be “weak by every parameter” of content, knowledge acquisition and scientific temper and also showing gender bias and an ideological slant.

In a two-day exercise to review the textbooks, which were hastily introduced superseding the books commissioned in 2013 and 2015 without any ostensible reason, educationists from Delhi and Rajasthan said the new books had a number of errors and limitations from pedagogical point of view and should not be taught in the coming academic session.

Record of sorts

Making a reference to the National Curriculum Framework-2005, Professor Apoorvanand of Delhi University said here on Sunday that since the textbooks had been prepared in 45 days, which was a record of sorts, they had failed to achieve the objectives of developing analytical skills and helping the children draw their conclusion on the basis of exploration.

The new books, prescribed for classes up to the 12th standard in State government schools, were in fact edited versions of the 2015 textbooks, with the editing done “in the framework of Hindutva ideology,” Prof. Apoorvanand said.

Myopic vision

Citing examples, the Delhi University Hindi department professor said the Indus Valley Civilisation, known by this name throughout the world, had been called the Sindhu Saraswati Culture in the Class 12 social studies book.

One of the textbooks, he said, claimed that Balaram, the brother of Lord Krishna, had gone on a pilgrimage to the banks of the Sindhu river.

Prof. Apoorvanand said this mixture of history and mythology was likely to confuse students and they would develop a myopic vision of history.

Besides, Class 12 textbooks stated that Aryans were natives of India and that the word Arya meant higher qualities.

In addition to justifying Varnashrama Dharma, the books glorify Hitler, he said.