Textbooks perpetuate gender stereotypes, says IGP Roopa

Inspector General of Police (Home Guards) D Roopa has called for changing textbook examples that assign gender-specific roles and perpetuate stereotypes.

Speaking at a discussion on 'Future of school education in Karnataka' on Tuesday, she said women had broken many barriers in the 21st century and it was time their achievements were reflected in textbooks. "Our textbooks give such examples as girls help their mothers in the kitchen while boys do the outdoor chores with their fathers. This should end," she said.

The officer said the education system must look beyond assessing learning abilities and incorporate practical knowledge to expand the world of children glued to electronic devices. "Schoolchildren handle gadgets today but they are not aware of cybercrimes," she noted.

Experts from the fields of education and information and technology, along with teachers and policymakers, debated the use of IT-enabled solutions to improve learning abilities.

Primary and Higher Secondary Minister Tanveer Sait said there was a conflict between educators and the education system. "Some say the ultimate goal of education is to make students employable, I do not agree with that. We know there is a need for reforming the education sector," he said.

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