Gender Concerns in NCERT Textbooks: A Clarification

Gender Concerns in NCERT Textbooks: A Clarification

July 3, 2017

By Prof. Y. Sreekanth, Principal, RIE, Mysuru

Recently several news-papers have published news items expressing  gender concerns in NCERT textbooks. This is based on the research report of Ms. Leclere, a French National, which provides a lopsided understanding of the gender concerns.  

Gender equality does not mean that in every aspect of  ‘teaching and learning’ there has to be an equal and proportionate representation of men and women.  This kind of analysis is too mechanical and trivialises the purpose of attending to gender sensitivities and concerns.

Apparently, Ms. Leclere has missed the subtle elements of the textbooks in the absence of her knowledge about Indian culture, values, ethos and practices within and outside the school system. The reality of the society is depicted in the textbooks and positive changes are to be initiated through discussions and deliberations in the classroom.  

For example, in the lesson “The Story of Food” of Class III Environmental Studies (Page No.92), two contrasting scenario are provided and the children are asked to relate them with their own family environment in order to create awareness among the children.  This provides an ample scope for critically examining what happens in the surroundings in which children live. These aspects have been either completely ignored or misinterpreted by  Leclere which sends a wrong signal to public.  

Though traditionally the role of women has been different, of late women are entering into new occupations. This trend is captured and placed in the textbooks to project a historical overview and changing scenario in the country.  This cannot be considered as retrogressive.

The study looks at gender concerns in isolation and without considering as to how a positive environment needs to be created among the children through appropriate content in the textbooks; and critical processes through which the children’s understanding has to be nurtured, etc., will not do justice in providing a rational understanding about gender concerns.

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Gender Concerns in NCERT Textbooks: A Clarification”

  1. neir says:

    Someone saying the truth


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