Nearly a month after the reopening of schools, nearly 60-70 percent of textbooks for the current school year have now reached students, according to the Karnataka Department of Public Education (DPE). The revised textbooks, which until now have been a subject of ideological and political debate, have now made their way to schools and teachers can start teaching from the new textbooks for Class X.
The Textbook Committee headed by Rohith Chakrathirtha was tasked with reviewing the content of Class X Kannada and Social Studies textbooks, as well as other content from different classes that appeared objectionable under Barguru Ramachandrappa’s Textbook Review Committee. But the revised content drew criticism from opposition parties, writers, authors and other critics who accused the committee of ‘safronizing’ the textbooks and ‘distorting’ facts related to Basavanna and Ambedkar in the textbook. of class IX social sciences.
Although some schools have not yet received all the textbooks, some have only partially received them. For example, Anitha High School in Mandya received class IX social science textbooks but did not receive the second part of the same subject.
According to ECD Commissioner Vishal R, about 76% of textbooks reached Block Education Offices (BEOs) and 70% of textbooks reached schools. “In some districts more textbooks have been distributed while in others it is less. However, in districts like Bidar, Chikkabalapura, Dharwad and Gadag, around 60% of the textbooks have been distributed. However, in Mandya, more than 70% of the books have been distributed. We plan to complete the supply of textbooks by July 10.
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A public high school in the southern zone of Bengaluru has received class IX and X social science textbooks, but has not yet received Kannada textbooks. Teachers also mentioned that the controversial Class IX Social Studies textbook containing the revised content related to Basavanna and Ambedkar will not be taught at this time until the Education Department clarifies the changes. . Many Lingayat seers objected to the “distorted” content of the Class IX Social Studies textbook which asserted that “Basavanna reformed Veerashaiva” and excluded that “Basavanna threw away the sacred thread”. The same textbook revised by Chakrathirtha had also removed the fact that “BR Ambedkar was the architect of the Constitution”. “We have received the class IX and X social science textbook, but we have not received the class 10 textbook in Kannada,” said a Kannada teacher.
One of the reasons for the delay in the textbooks reaching the schools is also the lack of manpower to transport the textbooks from the BEOs to the schools. A public high school teacher in Bangalore complained, “Today I missed four lessons because I had to go to the BEO to pick up the textbooks. My entire school calendar was wasted. There are not enough logistics staff to carry out these activities. The job of the teacher is to teach and not to deal with logistical activities.
Raghu TY, principal of Satyasai Lokaseva high school in Bantwal taluk, said, “We received textbooks for social studies and Kannada from class IX and X, respectively. However, we are sticking to the old curriculum with respect to parts of the Class IX Social Science and Class X Kannada textbooks, until the government provides a circular on the changes.
Class X Kannada language textbooks have undergone drastic changes including a speech by RSS founder Hedgewar, a lesson by right-wing ideologue Chakravarthy Sulibele, among others. However, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had assured that “objectionable” content related to Basavanna, Ambedkar and other changes raised by critics will be taken into consideration. The Department of Education also assured that the changes will be taken into account and that a related circular will be sent to public schools.