Rajasthan to cut chapter on Mandela in school textbooks

Rajasthan to cut chapter on Mandela in school textbooks

JAIPUR: One of the many changes in textbooks of the Rajasthan secondary education board will be the removal of a chapter on iconic statesman Nelson Mandela, which will be replaced with a long chapter called ‘Tribals in Rajasthan.’

“It is strange and unfortunate that Rajasthan students have been reading chapters on Africa and poems by foreign authors while they are ignorant about our own tribals and poets. These textbooks giving undue importance to foreign authors and chapters are meaningless. The committee is thoroughly examining the books to bring forth the work of Indian authors which is closer to our motherland,” a senior committee member told TOI.

Starting the next academic session, the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education (RBSE) is all set to overhaul English textbooks for Class I to XII by focusing more on local and national leaders and by replacing chapters and poems written by foreign authors with ones by Indian writers.

British author Rudyard Kipling is among the few lucky foreigners whose work will find a place in the revised textbooks. William Wordsworth’s poems though will be omitted.
Sources said the new guidelines form part of Rajasthan education minister Vasudev Devnani’s concept of ‘local to global’, which has been conveyed to the textbook re-writing committee formed by him. Sources said the committee has been instructed to leave out chapters which are not compatible with ‘local culture and value system’. For instance, chapters on agricultural practices which are not prevalent will be replaced with exhaustive chapters on traditional agricultural norms in the state.

The rewriting of textbooks is being done at two levels. While the RBSE is handling it for XI-XII classes, State Institute of Educational Research and Training (SIERT) is doing it for classes I to VIII. Each class will have two sets of English books, extensive and intensive. The entire curriculum is divided into four broad sections – comprehension, vocabulary, grammar and speech.

Sources said the committee is also adding new chapters to address social problems like skewed sex ratio. In this context, the books will have a dedicated chapter on ‘Save the Girl Child’ campaign. A few stories will also showcase women empowerment.

The committee is working overtime to finish the rewriting before November so that 8 crore new books are available in the market before March

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