ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Making Classrooms Critical and Ethical


The textbook revisions that have been recently undertaken by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) have evoked mixed reactions among educationists and commentators alike. For example, the editorial comment by Krishna Kumar in the current issue of EPW has raised many important issues that suggest an inadequacy of the revisions in a vital sense. The comment rightly argues that the claim to rationalise the syllabus and curriculum for reducing the burden of the schoolchildren is only going to intensify another kind of burden on them. Taking a cue from the editorial comment, one could further argue that the deletion of certain topics from the syllabi would make both students and teachers hamstrung. The comment makes a reference to conceptual incomprehension as being a cognitive burden; however, it is not the fault of these concepts but of those who have made it their business to transact with them. In other words, the knowledge in textbooks that is now sought to be “rationalised” not only leads to a conceptual incomprehension but also creates a moral–social burden for those who refuse to confront its source emanating from, say, their lack of knowledge about caste, untouchability, and communalism.

It is an irony that the NCERT revisions would like to solve the problem by removing such concepts and chapters that are perceived to be burdensome on the students, intellectually as well as socially. The collective consequence of such a conceptual incomprehension, as has been pointed out in the comment, and the decision to drive out some concepts and chapters from the classroom altogether, tends to produce the same result in the name of rationalisation.

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Updated On : 13th May, 2023
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