A teacher in tribal Jashpur district in Chhattisgarh, Soumya Garg, has petitioned the state women’s commission against the content of Class X social science textbook which says, “working women are one of the causes of unemployment
in the country.” The 24-year-old teacher, in her complaint filed a month ago, argued that women have equal rights in employment with men. She is yet to receive a reply in regard with the complaint. According to a Hindi textbook on social science of Class X, published by Chhattisgarh Board of Secondary Education, working women are one of the causes of unemployment in the country.
In one of the chapters about economic problems and challenges, it is explained that the percentage of unemployment after independence has increased as women have started working in all sectors.
Shocked and concerned, Soumya said:
“Does it mean that percentage of unemployment is measured on parameters keeping only men in mind? In the age of technology and gender equality, students can’t be taught about such prejudices. Women have equal right over jobs with men.”
Women’s commission member, Harshita Pandey, said:
“Commission will acknowledge the issue immediately and agreeing on the objection, I would personally write to chief minister and minister for education to consider the matter.”
Sanjay Ojha, director of state council for educational research and training (SECRT), said:
“It’s a matter of debate. It was a writer’s view out of his experience. Now, it is the teacher’s job how they explain things to the students and ask the students for their view whether they agreed to it or not”.
Ojha added the content was originally written way back in 2006-07 which has been re-produced as it is. It cannot be removed immediately and could be considered for review in the next academic session. This is not the first incident of misrepresentation of facts
in textbooks. In 2014, there was outrage in West Bengal after school textbooks labelled acts of freedom fighters like Khudiram Bose, Jatindranath Mukherjee and Prafulla Chaki as ‘extremism and terrorism’. In 2013, the Maharashtra government had ordered the withdrawal of Class X geography textbooks that excluded Arunachal Pradesh from the map of India. In 2012, a textbook in a CBSE school had claimed that non-vegetarians lie, cheat and commit sexual crimes.