Revised NCERT book: Kerala schools won't skip Babri Masjid demolition from syllabus

Labour Minister V Sivankutty. File Photo: Manorama Online

Thiruvananthapuram; In a significant development, the Kerala government has decided to teach students in Kerala the sections on the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya, which were omitted from the revised textbooks brought out by the NCERT.

According to Education Minister V Sivan Kutty, the curriculum committee will decide whether to include these portions in a supplementary textbook or the new textbooks to be prepared as part of the higher secondary curriculum revision. The higher secondary curriculum revision is slated to begin in the state next month after a gap of one and a half decades. A workshop in this connection is scheduled to be organized in the first week of July.

Holding that the state does not approve of fabricating or omitting different chapters on the country’s history out of sheer political interest, the minister clarified that the government stood by the position that historical facts should be taught to children.

In Kerala, the NCERT textbooks are taught in science and social science subjects at the higher secondary level. When the NCERT omitted various chapters, including those on the Gujarat riots and Mughal history, from its social science textbooks, Kerala brought out supplementary textbooks by including these portions and included the same in the scope of the examinations as well.

This year too, the state proposes to include all such omissions made by the NCERT in its supplementary textbooks.

The textbooks for higher secondary classes in Kerala, including those of languages, are prepared by the state-run SCERT. With the revision of its curriculum, the agency is slated to replace the existing textbooks with a new set. The new textbooks of NCERT will be issued in the next academic year.

Meanwhile, the state government is also contemplating the prepartion of textbooks on subjects like history, political science, and sociology, which are often subjected to politically motivated omissions and additions. However, both the minister and the SCERT maintain that this cannot be implemented immediately. The biggest challenge is that all competitive examinations at the national level are based on the NCERT texts.

The recently revised NCERT Class 12 Political Science textbook, published last week, has omitted the name Babri Masjid, instead referring to it as a "three-domed structure." Furthermore, the Ayodhya section has been shortened from four pages to two, with numerous significant details from the previous edition removed.

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