ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Forgetting the Student

The Thorat Committee's recommendations offer no solution to the textbook controversy.

The committee headed by S K Thorat, chairperson of the Indian Council of Social Science Research, to look at the inclusion of cartoons in high school and senior secondary textbooks related to political science has asked for the ­removal of 21 cartoons as well as some of the illustrations of the two child characters “Unni” and “Munni” and for changes to the ­accompanying text. It has also made a number of suggestions for modifications of the textbooks when a larger review is undertaken.

The list of immediate changes that have been asked for is fairly long and appears to be large enough to break the integrity of the textbooks. It needs to be remembered that these textbooks emerged from a consultative writing process based on the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) to provide a layered learning process to the students. Written in the form of a conversation with the student, each textbook is based on what has been learnt from the previous class’ textbook. The long laundry list of deletions ordered by the Thorat Committee appears to have ignored this aspect of the textbooks.

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