Scholars, critics criticise saffronisation of education

Social science textbooks lack scientific rigour, opines columnist

Flaying the Primary and Secondary Education Department of Karnataka for including saffronisation in the school curriculum, Human Rights activist and columnist Shivasundar said there is no institutional mechanism to regulate and verify whether the curriculum is as per the values enshrined in the Constitution.

He was delivering a talk on ‘An analysis of social science textbooks based on NCF 2005’ at the State-level conference on ‘Saffronisation of textbooks and curbing the voices of suppressed’ organised by Pathyapusthakagala Kesarikarana Virodhi Horata Samiti at Loyola Hall at St Aloysius College premises on Sunday. Citing a few examples where communal aspects and ideologies of priestly class have found place in the textbooks, the activist said the textbooks have gone to the extent of teaching students that Sindhu civilisation and Harrappa and Mohenjodaro civilisation were one and the same. The social science textbooks lack the scientific rigour, he alleged.

“Though the National Curriculum Framework-2005 insists that history should be viewed from the eyes of Dalits, suppressed and labour class, history lessons imparted in the government schools of Karnataka never emphasise on the said element. No history textbooks mention about how ‘Vaidiks’ or priestly class suppressed the lower class all throughout. The textbooks should throw light on the facts, rather than hiding them,” he observed.

He emphasised on the need to bring in the perspectives of minority, tribal communities and women in the history textbooks.

Taking a dig at the State government for literally destroying the contents in V and VIII standard textbooks, he said the BJP government has included lies in the textbooks and has lowered the quality by regionalising the contents. The very fact that books published by Rasthrothana Trust, Bangalore, which is a wing of the RSS, are distributed in schools reflects the extent to which the BJP is saffronising education, Shivasundar criticised.

“The wicked adult world is posing damage to the creativity and innocence of the children at the school level which has to be stopped,” he urged and informed that 25 objections raised by the Samiti on the V standard textbooks which was submitted to the government were rejected.

In his inaugural address, ‘Samvada’ magazine Editor Indudhar Honnapura too criticised the BJP government for attempting to not only tamper the folk tales, but also the history.
The history textbooks blame Tippu Sultan for damaging Hindu sentiments, but why not appreciate him for his achievements and developmental work he initiated in Mysore province. This tampering of the history and posing the ideology is only affecting the poor section of the society as the children belonging to suppressed classes go to government schools, while the children belonging to upper and rich classes go to private schools, he maintained.

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