Sanitisation of textbooks has begun, says minister

Sanitisation of textbooks has begun, says minister

Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Kimmane Ratnakar on Wednesday said the department had begun the process of eliminating ‘communal content’ and offensive words from textbooks of Classes I to X.

Speaking to reporters at the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee office, Ratnakar said all the complaints, which had come to him over the past few months, were dispatched to the subject committees formed to look into the State government syllabi for primary and secondary classes.

“We have received complaints and they are being sent to the subject committees as and when they arrive. I have specifically asked people who have complaints on such matters to give them in writing for us to refer them to the committees,” he said.

He said efforts were being made to weed out offensive words and delete “communally sensitive sentences” from the State textbooks. But the government was not in a position to remove all the disputed content in this academic year.

Ratnakar said the government was clearing dues it owed to private schools under the Right To Education (RTE) scheme. The government had recently cleared Rs 13 crore and the remaining Rs 80 crore would be cleared shortly.

He said there was no concensus yet on ICSE and CBSE schools admitting students under the RTE. The government is in talks with all the schools in this regard, and with a new education system in place, it may take about two to three years for the situation to stabilise, he said.

BPL families first

Minister Ratnakar said the government was considering giving ‘first preference’ to below-poverty-line families in admissions to schools under the RTE quota.

“This will ensure that the persistent problem of fake caste certificates being produced by affluent families for securing admissions under the RTE is eradicated.”

Ratnakar said he had written to the police department about fake caste certificates and sought an investigation into the matter.

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