In the recent past, the content in many textbooks has raised serious concerns about what schoolchildren are being taught these days. Only recently, a Class XII Social Science textbook – published and circulated by the Maharashtra State Board authority – said that a man’s family may demand high dowry, particularly when the girl is ‘ugly’ or ‘handicapped’. The images of the textbook were circulated online raising a huge furore on how are these statements still making their way to educational books.
While we were yet to get over the shocker, another image of an equally – of not more – ridiculous piece of text has appeared online. A Class IV book for Environmental Studies titled Our Green World, while educating students on the importance of breathing, gives a practical example that shows how children can suffocate a cat to death!
Yes, the book part of a curriculum in a Delhi school tries to explain through an experiment that “living things breathe” and “living things need air to breathe”.
The book reads, “no living thing can live without air for more than a few minutes.” And to explain this with an actual experiment the book says, “You can do an experiment” and asks children to put a small kittens in two wooden boxes each and cover with lids, one with holes and one without. The obvious outcome of the experiment is that “the kitten inside the box without holes has died”. All this with a living being just to teach children that living beings cannot survive without breathing.
So, basically, instead of creating awareness about environment and conservation, it is indirectly teaching young children to kill another living being!
This experiment is a part of the 4th grade curriculum in a reputed school in Delhi. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?! pic.twitter.com/g6dwHNWqAD
— Lola Kuttiamma (@Priya_Menon) February 2, 2017
Twitter user Lola Kuttiamma shared the picture online and people could not ignore the absurd experiment and questioned “doesn’t someone review books” before they are approved.
“We usually have an editing process in place, and though I am personally not aware of this sentence at the moment, if it’s there we will get it removed. It shouldn’t be there,” Dinesh Gupta, director, Millennium Booksource Pvt. Ltd, publishers of the book series, told indianexpress.com over the phone.
In the meantime, the tweet has generated much outrage online, with people lashing out at the publishers and editors. Here are some of the tweets:
@Priya_Menon can you send me all pics of the cover? let’s see if we can legally get them to stop this. this is ‘how to be a killer 101″
— mahima kukreja. (@AGirlOfHerWords) February 2, 2017
@Priya_Menon 😳😳😳 How absurd! Doesn’t someone review this shit before it’s authorized & approved to be used in schools👿
— 👁nɛmɪsɪs👁 (@FullyAutoMatixx) February 2, 2017
— Prashant Sani (@prashantsani) February 2, 2017
@Priya_Menon 😁😁😁😁 Person who wrote such experiment must be put in instead of animal. Fools
— Thinking Indian (@Nikunj21129) February 2, 2017
— kiduva (@kiduva) February 5, 2017
— tamil (@Tamil1947) February 4, 2017
— Richa Singh (@richa130281) February 4, 2017
Such books really raise a huge question on the quality of education we’re providing to our children, and the alarming psychological damage that such examples could have on their impressionable minds.