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CBSE Class 10 English paper receives backlash for alleged gender stereotyping

In the class 10 exam conducted on Saturday, the question paper carried a comprehension passage with sentences like "emancipation of women destroyed the parent's authority over the children" among others.

By: Education Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: December 14, 2021 11:22:23 am
CBSE Class 12 Political Science answer key, CBSE Class 12 Political Science Exam 2021CBSE term-1 class 12 biology paper was held today from 11:30 am to 1 pm. File.

A comprehension passage in the CBSE class 10 English question paper has sparked controversy for allegedly promoting “gender stereotyping” and supporting “regressive notions” prompting the board to refer the matter to subject experts on Sunday.

In the class 10 exam conducted on Saturday, the question paper carried a comprehension passage with sentences like “emancipation of women destroyed the parent’s authority over the children” and “it was only by accepting her husband’s way that a mother could gain obedience over the younger ones”, among others.

Various excerpts from the passage have gone viral on social media with users calling out the board for supporting “misogynistic” and “regressive opinions” and the hashtag “CBSE insults women” trending on the microblogging site Twitter.

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also took to Twitter objecting to the question paper. “Unbelievable! Are we really teaching children this drivel? Clearly, the BJP Government endorses these retrograde views on women, why else would they feature in the CBSE curriculum?” she said.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) issued a statement saying,” The passage in one set of the English paper of CBSE class 10 first term examination held yesterday has received mixed reactions from a few parents and students stating that ‘it seems to support regressive notions on family and allegedly promotes gender stereotyping”.

“The matter will be referred to subject experts for considered views as per the preset procedures of the board. As regards the correct answer option and the answer key released by the board, it is clarified that if the experts opine that the passage elicits multiple interpretations, appropriate action will be taken to protect the interest of the students,” the board said.

The CBSE class 12 sociology paper held earlier this month asked students to name the party under which the ‘anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002’ took place, a question the board later said was ‘inappropriate’ and against its guidelines.

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