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Gujarat schools to shun all caste,gender references

Teachers will stop calling out students’ surnames even in the roll call.

Written by RituSharma | Ahmedabad |
June 13, 2012 2:35:39 am

From the academic session beginning this month,textbooks of the Gujarat board for primary sections will have no references that discriminate or disclose caste,sex or region. Teachers will stop calling out students’ surnames even in the roll call.

Lines like ‘Khoob ladi mardani,woh to Jhansi wali Raani thi’,famously used for Lakshmi Bai,who fought the British,will no longer be taught to children in history textbooks,said Haresh Chaudhary,curriculum co-ordinator who is heading the team that restructured the syllabus for up to Class VII,making it sensitive to gender,caste and even animal rights.

Certain age-old idioms and proverbs like Suthar nu mann bavaliye (a carpenter’s mind is always on the wood) and Kamal toh kadav ma aj khile (Lotus blooms in the mud) will also be removed.

These were references used in Gujarati and Hindi language textbooks taught in Classes I-V,till 2011-12.

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“In addition,we are focusing on gender equality,” Principal Secretary (Education) R P Gupta said.

References like “Being a girl,Ragini showed exceptional courage…” will not be used as these tender to make gender generalisations.

While amending the curriculum,the state Education Department has removed all the derogatory or implied references to surnames,castes,religion,profession,region.

The curriculum from Classes I-VIII has been revised keeping in mind the Right to Education Act and National Curriculum Framework,” said T S Joshi,additional director at the Gujarat Council of Education Research and Training.

Joshi is also the member secretary of the curriculum committee.

“There should not be any attempt on part of the teachers to encourage casteism among children. The surnames will be used only for administrative purposes,” said Chaudhary.

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