Textbook writing for standards IX and XI as per the revised syllabus formally commenced on Tuesday. Despite the controversy generated by deletion of some chapters in some textbooks of primary and middle classes, the writing of textbook for higher secondary classes (IX to XII) has been given to the same standing committee under the Rajya Shiksha Kendra.
Not only this, during the formal ceremony to mark the commencement School Education Minister Narottam Mishra gave a free hand to the committee in writing, saying that they might delete or add portions or chapter as per their judicious decision.
He also went to the extent of saying that the government would be ready to face the consequences of any opposition or controversy generated by the revision.
New textbooks for class IX and XI would be introduced at the commencement of the session 2007-08 while those of class X and XII would be introduced during 2008-09.
MP Board of Secondary Education Chairman U K Samal, Commissioner Public Instructions L S Bagel, Commissioner Rajya Shikha Kendra M K Singh and standing committee chairman Govind Sharma were prominently present.
Samal harped on the quality of the textbooks and cautioned that penning of higher secondary books is quite different than writing primary and middle school books and the continuity of the text should be ensured.
Govind Sharma assured that the books would be of high quality but very clearly mentioned that efforts would be made to free the texts of Anglo-American influence. He said that this influence lowered the self-esteem of Indian and this would be taken care of.
He also mentioned that the National Curriculum Framework 2005 and the National Education Policy that harp on peace and moral values respectively make it very difficult to find the balance. However, unlike NCERT that was forced to withdraw some of the changes, the MP books would be best effort at equity, peace and equality. Member of the committee Bhagirath Kumrawat also spoke.
This is first time that the Rajya Shiksha Kendra has been entrusted with work of writing of textbooks for the higher secondary classes. Earlier, the books were written under the aegis of the MPBSE. During the onset of this academic session, the changes in the textbooks undertaken by the same committee – particularly the deletion of the nursery rhyme ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ and a chapter on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had generated major controversy.