RAIPUR: Amid a union minister recently stoking a row saying that girls wanting a night out is not acceptable in India, BJP ruled Chhattisgarh has went a step further with its class X social science textbook quoting that "working women are one of the causes of unemployment" in the country".
A young teacher in tribal Jashpur district in Chhattisgarh has confronted government, questioning the content being served to young minds in schools. Soumya Garg, a 24 year old, has petitioned the state women's commission against the content arguing that women have equal rights in employment with men.
According to Hindi textbook of social science of Class X, published by Chhattisgarh Board of Secondary Education, holds working women as one of the causes of unemployment in country. In one of the chapters of economic problems and challenges, it is explained that percentage of unemployment after independence has increased as women in all sectors have started working.
Raising a serious concern, Soumya told TOI, "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." She had filed a complaint with women commission about a month ago but is yet to get a reply.
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. Women are integral part of human resources in today's age who are equally competent to men. They can't be held responsible for unemployment in country."
Prominent educationist Dr Jawahar Surisetti said, "It is a deliberate attempt to instil archival mentality among the students which is highly objectionable. Such content shouldn't reflect in text books and should be removed immediately." He recollected that it wasn't the first time that content of CGBSE text books have been questioned, as they are not scrutinised rigorously and qualitatively. It may impact students' broader perspective, he added.
When contacted, state council for educational research and training (SECRT) director Sanjay Ojha 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 said 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.
Reacting to the controversy, state Congress spokesman Shailesh Nitin Trivedi labelled the content as deliberate and anti-women that promotes feudalistic mentality among children and instilling gender discrimination.
(Courtesy: Times of India)