Chhattisgarh govt withdraws controversial chapter ‘working women responsible for rising unemployment’ from Class X textbook

The BJP Led Chhattisgarh education department courted controversy after a teacher has complained about a chapter in its Class 10 Social Science textbook. The chapter redundantly explains that working women are one of the causes of unemployment in the country.

A portion of the chapter in the textbook is something like this: “Before independence few women were employed. But today women are employed in all sectors that has increased the proportion of unemployment among men. The other causes listed are slow industrialization, faulty education system, population increase and uneducated and unskilled labour.”

controversial chapter in class x textbook
A young female teacher objected against the content in Class X textbook stating that it violates the right to equality

Soumya Garg, a teacher in Jashpur district, has sent a letter to Chhattisgarh Women’s Commission contending that the chapter is discriminatory. She stated “It violates the rights of women. They have equal rights in matters of employment.”

Also read : 36 percent of population still deprived of formal education in Chhattisgarh

Following the uproar on the part of the opposition party, the state government has decided to withdraw the controversial chapter. School Education Minister Kedar Kashyap said, “the chapter (which contains controversial representation of women) will be withdrawn from the textbooks. I have issued directives in this regard to take immediate action.” Further he added that during the present academic session the chapter will be taught but from the next year onwards it will be removed.

Further the Minister of the view that “the chapter has been there in the textbooks since 2008. Soon an investigation will be conducted to identify those responsible for it. This will be followed by appropriate action against the guilty.” Chhattisgarh Board of Secondary Education is the official publishing body and they are the ones who have stated that the ratio of unemployment of men increased after Independence because women have started working in all sectors.

The School Education Department has also planned to form a committee to evaluate contents of all textbooks of higher classes ranging from Class 10 to Class 12.

Reacting to the controversy, state Congress spokesperson Shailesh Nitin Trivedi told, “The students are being taught a wrong lesson. It is conspiracy of ruling BJP to represent a negative image of women. It clearly indicates that the agenda of BJP and Sangh Pariwar is anti-women.”

Dr Jawahar Surisetti who is a very renowned educationist was of the view that this is a so called deliberate step to instill in children bad mentality which is highly objectionable. Such contents should not be raised anywhere and if by chance it has occurred in the school books it should be removed immediately. He recollected that it wasn’t the first time that content of CGBSE text books have been questioned, as they are not scrutinized rigorously and qualitatively. It may impact students’ broader perspective.

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