Recently, the state government decided to include chapters removed by NCERT in Classes 11, 12 books
NEW DELHI — Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, the 2002 Gujarat riots and the period of emergency will again feature in the National Council of Educational Training and Research (NCERT) Class 11 and 12 textbooks in Kerala. The state government will distribute new supplementary textbooks to restore the chapters deleted recently from the NCERT books.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the book distribution programme at Cotton Hill School in Thiruvananthapuram on 23 August, State General Education Minister V. Sivankutty was quoted in media reports as saying on Thursday.
Last year, the NCERT amended history and social sciences textbooks to remove mentions of the 2002 Gujarat riots and passages around the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. It also removed the industrial revolution from a Class 11 textbook and some Dalit writers from a Class 7 textbook as part of a new rationalised syllabi for the current academic session.
This June, NCERT also removed the periodic table, democracy and sources of energy from Class 10 textbooks. The chapters that have been removed include Charles Darwin on evolution, the origin of life on Earth, and human evolution and heredity as well as the chapter on the periodic classification of elements.
Recently, the state government decided to include chapters removed by NCERT in Classes 11, 12 books.
“It’s a time when the process of curriculum reform has started at the national and state levels. Meanwhile, at the national level, under NCERT’s leadership, many sections were deleted from the 6th to 12th standard textbooks. Kerala had quickly responded academically to this. This exclusion has been made in the name of reducing the academic load due to Covid pandemic but anyone who examines these books will understand that this cut is not to reduce the academic load but to protect some vested interests,” the minister was quoted as saying.
He further said that the state has taken up this discussion by putting national interest and academic interest first.
“Textbooks for classes 1 to 10 are produced by Kerala. So the changes made by NCERT in classes 6 to 10 at the national level do not significantly affect Kerala. But in 11th and 12th class, NCERT textbooks are used,” he said, adding that the academic community cannot accept the extensive exclusion made in history, political science, economics and sociology textbooks.
He further said that there are attempts to hide the basics of the Constitution, the history of the country, avoiding the fundamental problems in the country, and the avoidance of subjects by saying it’s not suitable for this era with political motives – mostly in humanitarian subjects and that is why Kerala has decided to release additional textbooks in humanities subjects.
The minister clarified that this would not be limited to additional reading.
“They will be a proper part of the syllabus and not just complementary readings. Students will have to study them for their exams, because only then would they find the drive to read and understand their history,” he explained.
The minister said: “We can never change the history of the country, the spirit of the freedom struggle and the constitutional values in the name of the curriculum and textbooks should be updated with the times. Whatever the reason, Kerala will always oppose the removal of such parts.”