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New syllabus, books endorsed by CABE amidst BJP boycott
September 08, 2005 01:47 IST
Amidst a boycott by education ministers of Bharatiiya Janata Party-ruled states, a new school syllabus and textbooks from next academic session on Wednesday got the seal of approval of the Central Advisory Board of Education, which approved the National Curriculum Framework for 2005.
Human Resource and Development Minister Arjun Singh asserted the new exercise will be "flawless".
"With a Monitoring Committee to look into the suggestions made by members and preparation of syllabus and writing of textbooks in place, I don't think anything will go awry," Singh said after the framework was adopted at the end of the two-day meeting boycotted by education ministers of BJP-ruled states.
He said, "We will see to it that the textbooks that come out will not have any flaws" in order to prevent anyone from levelling charges of grave distortions.
The two-day meeting saw education ministers from BJP-ruled states boycotting it alleging the NCF contained several discrepancies that did not present the glorious Indian history, its sacrifice, art, culture, yoga and education in a proper way.
Observing that the second stage of preparation of syllabus and textbooks was going to be "very very difficult part", Singh said all suggestions made by members would be part of the new framework.
"I am very sad this simple language was not understood by some who preferred to walkout for the two lines (in the press), which will give them glory", Singh said hitting out at the BJP ministers.
Singh had said on Tuesday that some work had already been started on the syllabus and the writing of textbooks.
"In the last two days, we have tried to grapple with something which each one of us saw in our own way," he said pointing at those who had criticised him of forgetting the National Policy of Education, which was fashioned by
Emphasising that he also had a "small share" in the preparation of NPE, Singh said the new framework basically had to conform to the NPE which was enunciated by the late prime minister.
He said the Monitoring Committee, which will have members from CABE, National Council for Educational Research and Training and officials from state governments, would ensure that all suggestions of members were incorporated in the syllabus and ultimately in textbooks.
Asserting that he would not be part of the efforts for textbooks or syllabus preparation, he said, "There is enough work for all those who want to participate but those who do not to participate, well let them take their own way. We cannot help it."
"Yes. I have to accept that there is a Constitutional responsibility on my shoulder, which I cannot shrug off even if I want to," Singh said adding, it would be his responsibility that the NCF was translated into syllabus and textbooks.
Speaking at the meeting, NCERT Director Krishna Kumar said that despite rendering a great service in the field of education, sometimes NCERT's role was misunderstood.
Asserting that the Human Resource Ministry did not interfere with the work of the framework "even once", he said the country must have greater faith in organisations which served for over 44 years.
On making the Board exam at Class X level optional, Kumar said the framework was not a "prescriptive document" and it was for the states to take a decision as education was in the concurrent list.
Eminent educationist Yash Pal, who headed the National Steering Committee, strongly advocated Common Schooling System. Joining Kumar, he said, "There was no conspiracy. Government did not say even once do it (Framework) in a particular way."
Voicing a note of dissent, social activist Teesta Setalvad said the "NCF 2005 is a confused document that fails to live upto the historic mandate entrusted to it". She wanted a "drastic and serious re-working" of the NCF 2005 and it should not be passed in its current form.
Welcoming the framework, Central Board of Secondary Education chairman Ashok Ganguly said "the process of transformation has set in".
Advocating two levels of examinations in mathematics, science and language, he suggested there should not be any homework for children till class II, but from class III suitable alternatives to homework be pursued.