1. Textbooks now reflect Indian culture, heritage: Rajasthan school teachers

Textbooks now reflect Indian culture, heritage: Rajasthan school teachers

Struggling to familiarise students, especially those in rural areas, with European and American themes, teachers in Rajasthan's Bundi district have welcomed the change in syllabi by the state government saying children can now easily connect with the Indian settings.

By: | Bundi (raj) | Updated: August 28, 2016 12:23 PM
Book-Re-L Teachers also said the contents were now “far more comprehensive and convincing” notwithstanding Congress allegations of saffornisation of school textbooks in Rajasthan. (Reuters)

Struggling to familiarise students, especially those in rural areas, with European and American themes, teachers in Rajasthan’s Bundi district have welcomed the change in syllabi by the state government saying children can now easily connect with the Indian settings.

Teachers also said the contents were now “far more comprehensive and convincing” notwithstanding Congress allegations of saffornisation of school textbooks in Rajasthan.

“Earlier, the textbooks on English and Social Science carried chapters on European, American and African countries. They were mostly written by English authors and writers,” said Suman Sharma, senior English teacher at a government girl’s senior secondary school here.

She added books, now, carry chapters mostly written by Indian scholars, and the themes and content were of the country’s background.

Anshul Meena, an English teacher in the same school, said, “English characters, themes and content of the textbooks were hardly identifiable, reflective and pronounceable by government school students, especially by rural ones.”
Now after the changes, the syllabi are far more comprehensive and convincing. It really reflects the Indian culture and heritage in true sense, Meena said.

Echoing her English counterparts, Mamta Bairwa, a senior government Social Science teacher, said, “Earlier the subject syllabus of Class IX had five books with totally unknown and unfamiliar background. Now the syllabus has been made more comprehensive and familiar with chapters of Indian theme, background and characters in a single book.”
Shobha Kanwar, a teacher at Barundan village school here, said the syllabi last year was very complex, hard and with unfamiliar themes from foreign background but now Environment, Social Science books have content of Indian background and the students can identify with it.

“Now the syllabus content is related to India’s rich culture and heritage. Teachers as well as students enjoy it while teaching and learning in the class,” she said.

The government school mathematic teachers have also welcomed the incorporation of Vedic Ganeet (Vedic Maths) in the syllabus.

“Vedic Ganeet gives a deep insight into learning current mathematical equations and helps develop IQ for the same,” Anita Kumari, a government Mathematics teacher, said.

The Vedic Ganeet did exist in school syllabus in 2004 and 2005 but was later dropped from the syllabus, said Kumari.

Rajasthan’s BJP government has faced sharp criticism from Congress leaders including PCC chief Sachin Pilot and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot for changes in the syllabi.

However, Education Minister Vasudev Devnani had refuted the allegations saying they (Congress) are only politicizing the issue and only the content by Indian scholars and noted authors reflecting the rich culture and heritage of the country has been incorporated in the school books syllabus.

  1. Yvette Rani
    Aug 28, 2016 at 11:01 am
    This is an appropriate, timely and much need improvement over the older Euro-centric, Post-colonial versions of textbooks, that though intended for Indian children, were focused almost entirely on Euro-centric history and western images and foreign style English language usage. The topics were alien, the photos often alien, and the narratives unfamiliar. It was difficult for students in India to relate to the language, which was stiff and unfamiliar and the stories which were uninteresting because they couldn't relate to them. Finally as an educator, I praise the Rajasthani government for doing what is right regardless of shrill complaints from a dying breed of anti-Indic scholars.
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