Tripura to include more details on Mahatma in text books

May 25th, 2011 - 7:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, May 25 (IANS) Succumbing to the opposition Congress party’s pressure, the Left Front government in Tripura Wednesday announced that more details on Mahatma Gandhi and environment would be included in the state’s school text books.

“From the next academic session, Gandhiji’s contribution to India’s freedom movement would continue to be dealt with adequately as was done earlier in the school text books in Tripura,” Debatosh Datta, director of the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), told reporters here.

Following the assurance, Congress leaders withdrew their decision to launch a hunger strike Wednesday protesting the replacement of Mahatma Gandhi’s name with that of communist icon Vladimir Lenin in a Class 5 textbook in the Left-ruled state.

The opposition party has also been condemning the state government for not adequately incorporating environmental and global climate change aspects in the text books.

Datta said: “The state government has also decided to include more topics to sufficiently deal with environment in the geography portion of the text books when they are reprinted for the 2012 academic session.”

He also said that the state advisory council for implementation of the Rights of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act-2009 would be reconstituted soon.

Three more committees will be formed shortly to supervise and scrutinise the contents of the school text books, he added.

The opposition parties have also been alleging that the school texts books were being prepared only by people close to the ruling Left parties.

Congress leaders led by leader of the legislature party Ratan Lal Nath had planned a hunger strike Wednesday morning close to Mahatma Gandhi’s statue near Raj Bhavan here.

“Despite protests from all quarters, the Left Front government in Tripura has been trying to give a communist twist to the educational system and its curriculum,” Nath told reporters.

“In a textbook for Class 5 the names of Socrates, Abraham Lincoln, Karl Marx were retained and Lenin’s name inserted in place of Mahatma Gandhi,” Nath said.

The SCERT director said: “We did not erase the name of Mahatma Gandhi. His name and life sketch were detailed in a separate chapter of the same book, deleting from the common chapter. Mahatma’s biography was given with more elaboration in the book compared to previous years.”

“The topic on Gandhiji was included in one chapter in the history portion of the revised text book for the current academic year instead of two chapters as contained in the previous text books. The decision was taken in view of the objectives of lessening the burden of students contained in the guidelines of the NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training),” he added.

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