A parliamentary panel recommended that school textbooks incorporate with equal emphasis the contributions of numerous “unsung freedom fighters” from all regions of the country, including the northeast.
These statements were made by the panel in its report, which was presented to the Rajya Sabha on Monday. The panel also recommended that the National Council of Education Research and Training (NCERT) and the department of school education under the Union ministry work together to “ensure” the same.
The panel added that in order for the NCERT to become “mandatory reading material,” notable women personalities and their contributions should be included in the “regular books” rather than the supplementary materials.
On Monday, the “action taken” report on the recommendations made in a report titled “Reforms in Content and Design of School Textbooks,” which was presented to the Upper House last year, was turned in by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education, Women, Children, Youth, and Sports, which is chaired by BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Vivek Thakur.
The committee was established to find “un-historical facts” that were mentioned in school textbooks, to ensure that all periods of Indian history were fairly represented, and to give outstanding women achievers an equal voice.
According to the panel’s report, most of the observations made will be addressed in the four new National Curriculum Frameworks (NCF), which are being developed to update the current NCERT textbooks used in numerous schools, including those all connected to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is being followed in the development of the four new NCFs, one of which focuses on foundational classes.
“The committee while taking note of the specific action proposed to be taken in respect of North-Eastern States, feels that the action taken or proposed to be taken regarding the adequate representation of Sikh and Maratha history needs greater study and enhanced portrayal of contribution. Hence, the committee recommends that true reflection of the history of these communities may also be simultaneously ensured as part of the NCF,” the action taken report stated.
The panel in its report also took note of the submission made by the department to incorporate knowledge of “Vedas” and teachings of the Bhagavad Gita in the school curriculum. “The committee is of the view that the department may make adequate efforts to highlight and present the diversity of religious teachings as brought out in all the ancient scriptures and educative/religious texts, through the school textbooks and incorporate the same in the revised NCF,” it said.