Govt should review all textbooks, says national education panel


Stating that the syllabus prepared by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for the school students has resulted in the denationalisation of the students, the Goa unit of the Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti (SBAS),
a nationwide save education movement on Saturday demanded that the state government, during the forthcoming budget session of the legislative assembly should reach a landmark decision of reviewing all school textbooks from class I to XII, in general and history textbooks in particular so that comprehensive history of India as well as Goa is included in the curriculum.
The Samiti also expressed dissatisfaction over the failure of the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) to function in Goa. Furthermore, the Samiti will also hold a day-long dharna, next week for spreading public awareness about the importance of teaching error-free history in schools.
The state organiser of the Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, Mr Vallabh Kelkar addressing a press conference in the city said that recently the Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, through a letter informed the Samiti as regards the Board having come up with a new book of history for SSC and the discussion on the same being in progress.
“However, the Goa Board also informed that there was no decision on the history syllabus of class IX, XI and XII,” he added, pointing out that such a discontinuous process of teaching history should not be followed, as the class IX history focuses on the Russian and the French Revolution, while class XI syllabus has lessons about Genghis Khan and Foreign as well as Arabic Science, in contrast to the in-the-making SSC history text book, which includes Indian history.
“History should be taught in a phased manner and if the books are changed in between, there are chances of confusion being created among the students,” Mr Kelkar said, observing that the government, during the forthcoming budget session of the assembly, must take a decision of preparing new history textbooks by giving importance to the local as well as national history.
It was also demanded that the government review its decision of providing free text books to the school students, as most of these textbooks are sold in the market as scrap once their utility is over. “On the contrary, if these textbooks are at all provided free of cost to the students then the government should make it a point to take them back so that they may be provided to the deserving students, during next academic year, thus controlling wasteful expenditure of public funds,” Mr Kelkar said, informing that education is getting commercialised and people are forgetting the spirit of nationalism. 
The Samiti further demanded that the government must take action against the managements of all those  schools in the state, who keep the schools closed on national days like 26th January, 15th August and 19th December, and refuse to celebrate these days with various programmes including unfurling the National Tricolour.
The Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti finally opposed the controversial notification of the Union government making proficiency in English a requirement for IAS aspirants.
It may be recalled that the Union government, responding to the fierce opposition to this notification from various quarters had agreed to keep it in abeyance and maintain ‘status quo ante’.
Mr Kelkar said that if the particular notification is issued and its provisions implemented then all the languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution will suffer and local languages would face a tough time.
“Furthermore, all the IAS officers would be proficient in only English language due to the provisions of this notification, and would not be able to interact with the common man of the country,” he noted. [NT]