Charging the Tripura Board of Secondary Education (TBSE) under the previous Left government of spreading Marxist propaganda over the last two decades, BJP Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb Tuesday said his government will soon “introduce” NCERT syllabus in the state-run schools. He said the government is in the process of “setting up a committee” to discuss adopting NCERT over the state board.
Speaking to The Indian Express at the first NITI Aayog meet for the Northeast, Deb said he wants quality education and not quantity, considering Tripura’s literacy ratio of 95 per cent, which is among the country’s highest. In his speech at the Northeast forum, Deb emphasised the importance of “education for all and health for all.”
The BJP swept the Tripura assembly elections last month and ended 25 years of Communist rule in the state winning 43 of 59 seats.
“When I say education, I mean quality education and not just numbers. The Communists only wanted the people of Tripura to study Mao (Zedong) and forget our Hindu kings. They removed Mahatma Gandhi from textbooks in government-run schools. I am going to implement NCERT syllabus in all these schools which will also have chapters on Tripura’s history,” he said.
According to Deb, textbooks of Class IX-XII in Tripura featured the Russian and French revolutions, while some had pages devoted to the birth of cricket in England, Nazism and the rise of Adolf Hitler. “Students were being taught Karl Marx and Hitler but nothing about Indian freedom fighters,” he said. Officials also said that references to Rani Laxmibai and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose were also absent from textbooks as were chapters on the Constitution.
Alleging that many chapters on ancient history were not in the TBSE, Deb said he will set up a committee to make recommendations, but that he also plans to implement the NCERT syllabus which will include 10 per cent of the state board syllabus.
Referring to taking charge as CM, Deb said, “When I moved into the CM’s office where Manik Sarkar sat for so many years, I was amazed that his table had no National Flag. I got the Tricolour on that table for the first time.”
He also said his government aims to impart skill development to 1,16,333 youths, of which the government will provide employment to nearly 37,000. “I am stressing on self-employment for the others,” he said.