June 19, 2024

Kerala Edu Dept to teach, portions omitted by NCERT, in state schools

The political observers and ‘students’ of academic affairs in the country in general and Kerala in particular have been anxiously waiting to see what will happen to the modifications to the school syllabus for 11th and 12th classes, put forward by NCERT, in Kerala. Their anxiety is due to the fact that Kerala is a state controlled by ruling CPM-led Left Democratic Front and Opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) who are always for minority appeasement and for opposing ideas based on nationalism. Both follow the ‘negative’ theory of opposing whatever Modi regime does or states, because they are ‘pro Hindu’ read ‘pro RSS’. Now, the decisions are around the corner.

The Curriculum Steering Committee (CSC) of the State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) has decided to include, the portions omitted by the NCERT, in the state school syllabus. According to a statement, CSC, met at Thiruvananthapuram on April 26, discussed the inclusion of the omitted portions. The Committee authorised Education Minister and CPM leader V. Sivankutty to discuss the matter with the government and take the necessary decisions.

Before the aforementioned meeting, Sivankutty had stated that the state of Kerala would include the omitted portions. Much earlier, NCERT had excluded, Mughal history, Mahatma Gandhiji assassination and consequent ban on RSS, Gujarat Riots and Darwin Theory of Evolution, from the school syllabus.

Sivankutty told a press conference that state government can print text books, carrying the portions omitted by the centre, independently provided the centre does not deny permission to teach these subjects. He added that teachers’ unions also believe that the omitted portions should be included.

Referring to the omission and inclusion of Mughal history, Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and Gujarat riots, Sivankutty claimed that the CPM-led LDF government acts on the basis of ‘constitutional and secular values’. Therefore, Kerala government stands for teaching these portions.

Yes, that is the crux of the point. They are keen to keep on eulogising the invaders like Mughals for ever. That is why Opposition parties disagreed with the union government’s decision to change the names of the streets in Delhi.

They were ‘deeply hurt’ when ‘Aurangazeb Road’ was renamed ‘Abdul Kalam Road.’ They need Aurangazeb’s name for the street, even though he belonged to a kingdom built by invaders; they were not happy even though it was replaced by the name of a patriot like APJ. This is the situation in Kerala too. Still, they claim that they always uphold the Constitution, secular values and what not!

Latest news suggest that states can take decisions on the syllabus it has to follow. Respective state SCERTs can decide what are to be included in their state schools. It has been disclosed by Sanjay Kumar IAS, Secretary of the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education. This is in the wake of the developments in the state. Education is in the concurrent list of the Constitution hence state can take decisions concerning the syllabus. Sanjay Kumar said, there is no controversy in the matter. The modifications were made, in the light of the Corona pandemic, to reduce the students’ burden. The books which are scheduled to be brought out in 2024 will kick off a new beginning. Class rooms and teaching methods will be regularised according to the new books.

Secretary’s statement makes it clear that there is no controversy or political motive behind the syllabus modifications. But, a one million dollar question remains – “How long the country can go sans a common education system and syllabus?” Even otherwise there are complaints that central syllabi, followed by CBSE schools and Kendriya Vidyalyas, are different from the syllabi followed by the states. There are people who believe that this sort of regime results in the creation of two different strata of citizens. So, do we not need a consensus among the constitutional experts and academicians regarding ‘One country, one education?’ This is vital since we have achieved ‘one country one tax’ (GST); and active discussions are going on regarding ‘one country one election’, ‘one country one law’, etc. etc. No doubt, ‘One country one education’ looks essential for national integration.

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