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Business News/ News / Karnataka Government urged to scrap NEP and revise textbooks by writers and academics

Karnataka Government urged to scrap NEP and revise textbooks by writers and academics

Writers and academics in Karnataka have urged the state's new government to scrap the New Education Policy (NEP) and revise school textbooks altered under the previous administration. The group, called Samana Manaskara Okkoota, submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

Prominent writers and academics in Karnataka Advocate for reversal of NEP and textbook changes
 (ANI Picture Service/ Madhu)Premium
Prominent writers and academics in Karnataka Advocate for reversal of NEP and textbook changes (ANI Picture Service/ Madhu)

Several prominent writers and academics, on Monday, urged the new government to take immediate action in scrapping the New Education Policy (NEP) and revising school textbooks that were revised during the previous BJP regime. The delegation, known as Samana Manaskara Okkoota, met with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and submitted a memorandum outlining their demands.

“Set up an expert committee immdiately to revise these textbooks," the delegation said. “If that will take time, let schools continue with textbooks revised by the Baraguru Ramachandrappa committee. " 

The delegation accused the previous BJP government of imposing the NEP on Kannadigas without their consent. “All changes made in schools and higher education under NEP should be reversed forthwith," the delegation said.

Karnataka's newly appointed Primary and Secondary Education Minister, Madhu Bangarappa, has hinted at the possibility of revising school textbooks in the interest of students' well-being and to safeguard their minds from being “polluted." 

"I was the vice president of the Congress' manifesto committee, and in the manifesto we had said clearly that textbook revision will take place in the interest of the students' future. We don't want their minds to get polluted," Bangarappa said.

"We have already said that students come to schools to get educated and we don't want it to be disturbed, and there should be no mistake on part of the government or me or officials or the system in this regard. We have given the commitment," he said.

He stated that textbooks for the upcoming academic year have already been dispatched to some extent, presenting the challenge of implementing revisions without adversely affecting students and their studies. He assured that the commitment made in the manifesto will be executed under the guidance of the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister.

"Polluting children's minds through texts and lessons" cannot be overlooked, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Monday , "As the academic year has started, we will discuss and take action so that the education of the children is not disturbed."

Bangarappa mentioned having held preliminary discussions with the Chief Minister and expressed intentions to form a team to facilitate further actions in the education department. 

"I can't divulge much on this now, cabinet meeting is scheduled to take place on June 1, and on that day things might take shape for him to share more information," he said.

During the previous administration, Karnataka faced textbook controversies with opposition Congress and some writers calling for the removal of the then textbook review committee chief, Rohith Chakratirtha. Critics alleged that school textbooks were being "saffronized" by including a chapter on the speech of RSS founder Keshav Baliram Hedgewar while omitting chapters on freedom fighters, social reformers, and renowned literary figures. 

Additional complaints were raised regarding errors in content related to social reformer Basavanna and the distortion of the state anthem written by national poet Kuvempu. While these allegations were initially refuted, subsequent rectifications were made in some instances.

Regarding the Congress party's plans to scrap the National Education Policy, Bangarappa assured, “You will get answers for this in the days to come. I have just got the responsibility of the department yesterday."

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Updated: 31 May 2023, 03:12 PM IST
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