The Kerala Government has taken a significant step in the realm of education by announcing its decision to reinstate chapters that were deleted from the National Council of Educational Training and Research (NCERT) Class 11 and 12 textbooks. These chapters pertained to pivotal historical events such as Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, the 2002 Gujarat riots, and the period of emergency in India.
The decision to restore these topics in the textbooks comes as a response to the deletion of these sections by the NCERT. The NCERT had removed these chapters under the pretext of reducing the academic load on students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Kerala government perceives these exclusions as an attempt to safeguard certain vested interests rather than promoting genuine academic concerns.
State General Education Minister V Sivankutty highlighted that while curriculum reforms have been initiated both at the national and state levels, the removal of essential historical events and topics from textbooks appears to have been driven by political motives. The government of Kerala views this deletion as a means to hide crucial aspects of the country’s history, evade fundamental issues, and curtail the knowledge of the Constitution and democratic values.
According to Sivankutty, the state of Kerala has chosen to prioritize national interest and academic integrity by restoring these deleted chapters. He pointed out that while textbooks for classes 1 to 10 are produced within the state, classes 11 and 12 rely on NCERT textbooks. The Kerala government aims to fill this gap by releasing additional textbooks in humanities subjects, ensuring that students have access to the essential knowledge that was excluded.
The decision to restore these chapters resonates with Kerala’s commitment to preserving the historical essence of the country, its freedom struggle, and the core values enshrined in the Constitution. The state’s education minister vehemently expressed that Kerala will always oppose the removal of such crucial parts, emphasizing the significance of teaching students about their nation’s history and democratic principles.
By restoring the deleted chapters, Kerala is striving to uphold the integrity of education and ensure that students are well-informed about India’s past, including both its triumphs and challenges. The move also underscores Kerala’s dedication to countering politically motivated exclusions from education and promoting a comprehensive and unbiased understanding of the country’s history and values. The distribution of the new textbooks on August 23 will mark a significant step toward achieving these goals.