ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Modifying School Textbooks

Disregarding Children’s Experiences

All textbooks, as a matter of course, should be revised regularly. However, at no point should they become a site for an ideological battle between political parties, and the impact on the students using them should be the main focus.

The popular phrase, “Sikandar ne Porus se kee thee ladai, toh main kya karoun” (Alexander fought a battle with Porus so what should I do about it), from an old Hindi film song reminds us of the need to examine the way children relate to their school education. One could not possibly have a more appropriate song to understand the significance and implications of modifications that the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) textbooks are being subjected to in the current political context. In an educational system that rarely takes into account children’s world views and experiences, such ad hoc revisions are likely to make them more detached or disillusioned.

It is no coincidence that with change in the political dispensation at the centre/state, school textbooks often come in the limelight, becoming a readily available tool for political manipulation. In the past few weeks, the right-led government at the centre has made more than 1,000 changes in textbooks developed by the NCERT between 2005 and 2009.1

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Updated On : 6th Jun, 2022
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