The hoopla over the students of SSC under the Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (GBSHSE), from the academic year 2013-14, getting history textbook incorporating Goa’s history, has limited significance as the Goa-related syllabus would be limited to only one chapter.
The seven page chapter includes random events from the Goan freedom struggle against the colonial Portuguese regime such as Satyagraha at Patradevi; contribution of Karnal Singh and Bala Mapari in this freedom struggle, the clarion call given by Ram Manohar Lohia on June 18, 1946 against Portuguese rule, Goa Seva Sangh, contribution of Azad Gomantak Dal as well as freedom fighters like Purushottam Kakodkar, T B Cunha, Mohan Ranade, Sharada Sawaikar and Sudhatai Joshi and so on.
The editorial board of the GBSHSE has already prepared the final draft of this textbook and will forward the same to the review committee of the Goa University. Later, the academic council of the Goa University will have to give its consent for the same. The new history textbook will be in force for at least six years, after which it can be reviewed again.
The professor of history at the Government College, Quepem and deputy director of education, Dr Remy Dias, besides Mr Aruna Alfonso of Sharada English School, Marcela, Ms Seema Gujar from Our Lady of Rosary Higher Secondary School, Dona Paula, and another teacher from a Benaulim-based higher secondary school have prepared the draft of this textbook. Besides the chapter on Goa’s freedom struggle, the new SSC history textbook contains chapters on Indian freedom struggle and world history.
Meanwhile, the lecturer of history in a city college and noted historian, Mr Prajal Sakhardade said that during the review of the history textbook, the chapter on Goa written by an agency was found to be erroneous.
“Therefore, I was asked to rewrite this chapter,” he added.
In May 2010, the Goa Board had altered the controversial SSC history textbook as prepared by the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), based on protests from right-wing organisations, which said that the text conveyed a distorted version of history. These organisations had contended that the purpose of teaching history was lost as a large part of it was about those who conquered and colonised India such as the Mughals and the British. Later, Goa Board decided to use the history textbook of the Maharashtra State Education Board.
Subsequently, in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee Year of Goa’s Liberation, it was decided by the government to make available to the SSC students, a new history textbook containing information about Goa’s freedom struggle.
Speaking further, Mr Sakhardande said that Goa has rich history, and an entire history textbook could be prepared out of it. “We, at the college teach Goa’s history until 1987, that is till the time Goa was accorded the statehood status, for the first year BA course, while the third year graduation course has the entire post-Liberation history in its syllabus,” he added, pointing out that Goa can also boast of rich pre-Portuguese regime history, including that of Kadamba and Silahara dynasties.
Replying to a question, as to why there is dearth of historians in Goa, in spite of the fact that Goa University has its own department of history, as also many colleges run graduation courses with history as the major subject, Mr Sakhardande said that a student of history needs to have patience and consistency in his work, even after he has graduated out of the college.
“And then there are so many other things like field research, study of archival documents and so on,” he observed, noting that absence of all these aspects will not allow the students of history to turn into historians.
The highly placed sources told this daily that the lone chapter on Goan history in the new SSC history textbook could have very limited marks assigned to it. In such a case, the students may very well leave out the particular chapter from their study, which in turn, will defeat the very objective of including local history in the textbook. [NT]