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Sonia points out ‘misogynistic’ passage in CBSE paper in Lok Sabha; board drops question

CBSE by Monday evening expressed “regret” and announced that it had set up an “expert committee to avoid such occurrences in future”

Sabrangindia 13 Dec 2021

CBSE paper
Image Courtesy:thehindu.com

It took massive outrage raised in Parliament by the Opposition Congress for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to ‘drop’ a misogynistic comprehension passage from its class 10 English board exam paper. The board will now award “full marks” for the question to all students. The closing paragraph of a comprehension passage that has been called out as offensive and “retrograde” read, “What people were slow to observe was that the emancipation of the wife destroyed the parent’s authority over the children. The mother did not exemplify the obedience upon which she still tried to insist… In bringing the man down from his pedestal the wife and the mother deprived herself, in fact of the means of discipline.”

The CBSE by Monday evening expressed “regret”, dropped the misogynistic passage and related questions and announced that it had set up an “expert committee to avoid such occurrences in future.” 

 

The students were then to answer questions based on this for their Class 10 Term 1 CBSE board exam English paper on Saturday. On Monday, The Indian Express had reported on the contentious paragraph, and major outrage followed. Congress president Sonia Gandhi raised the issue during the Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha and called the passage “atrocious, shockingly regressive and blatantly misogynist”. Gandhi demanded that it be withdrawn immediately and that the CBSE must also issue an apology, adding that the ministry of education must conduct a review on gender sensitivity standards of curriculum and testing. She said, “I add my voice to the concerns of students, parents, teachers and educationists, and I raise strong objection to such blatantly misogynist material finding its way into an important examination conducted by the CBSE. It reflects extremely poorly on the standards of education and testing and it goes against all norms and principles of… empowered society.” 

She added, “The passage contains atrocious statements such as ‘women gaining independence is the main reason for a wide variety of social and family problems’ and wives stopped obeying their husbands and that is the main reason children and servants are indisciplined,” and that it was “is riddled with such condemnable ideas and the questions that follow are equally nonsensical.”

Priyanka Chaturvedi, P-Rajya Sabha, and Deputy Leader Shiv Sena. who is also a member of the Parliament Committee for Women Empowerment wrote to Education Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and Chairman CBSE asking for an “unconditional apology, an explanation as to how this passage was cleared & lastly  disciplinary action against the ‘subject experts’.”

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, “Clearly the BJP Government endorses these retrograde views on women, why else would they feature in the CBSE curriculum.”

Member of Parliament (Madurai Constituency). State Committee Member CPIM S. Venkatesan asked that action must be taken “against those spreading anti-constitutional ideas like gender inequality among students.” 

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi called it “downright disgusting. Typical RSS-BJP ploys to crush the morale and future of the youth."

Late on Sunday, CBSE PRO Rama Sharma issued a media statement: “The matter will be referred to subject experts for considered views as per the pre-set procedures of the board. As regards the correct answer option and the answer key released by the board, it is clarified that if the experts opine that the passage elicits multiple interpretations, appropriate action will be taken to protect the interests of the students.”

According to an IE report, after Gandhi’s submission in Parliament, the Opposition wanted the government to respond to it with a statement. However, Cabinet ministers did not react to it and Speaker Om Birla said “it was not a practice in the Lok Sabha to respond to the issues raised during Zero Hour”, the Opposition – including the Congress, DMK and Left parties – walked out in protest.

Related:

Why does UGC want herds of students to take ‘cow science’ exams?
Are citizenship and secularism ‘disposable’ subjects for Indian students?

 

Sonia points out ‘misogynistic’ passage in CBSE paper in Lok Sabha; board drops question

CBSE by Monday evening expressed “regret” and announced that it had set up an “expert committee to avoid such occurrences in future”

CBSE paper
Image Courtesy:thehindu.com

It took massive outrage raised in Parliament by the Opposition Congress for the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to ‘drop’ a misogynistic comprehension passage from its class 10 English board exam paper. The board will now award “full marks” for the question to all students. The closing paragraph of a comprehension passage that has been called out as offensive and “retrograde” read, “What people were slow to observe was that the emancipation of the wife destroyed the parent’s authority over the children. The mother did not exemplify the obedience upon which she still tried to insist… In bringing the man down from his pedestal the wife and the mother deprived herself, in fact of the means of discipline.”

The CBSE by Monday evening expressed “regret”, dropped the misogynistic passage and related questions and announced that it had set up an “expert committee to avoid such occurrences in future.” 

 

The students were then to answer questions based on this for their Class 10 Term 1 CBSE board exam English paper on Saturday. On Monday, The Indian Express had reported on the contentious paragraph, and major outrage followed. Congress president Sonia Gandhi raised the issue during the Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha and called the passage “atrocious, shockingly regressive and blatantly misogynist”. Gandhi demanded that it be withdrawn immediately and that the CBSE must also issue an apology, adding that the ministry of education must conduct a review on gender sensitivity standards of curriculum and testing. She said, “I add my voice to the concerns of students, parents, teachers and educationists, and I raise strong objection to such blatantly misogynist material finding its way into an important examination conducted by the CBSE. It reflects extremely poorly on the standards of education and testing and it goes against all norms and principles of… empowered society.” 

She added, “The passage contains atrocious statements such as ‘women gaining independence is the main reason for a wide variety of social and family problems’ and wives stopped obeying their husbands and that is the main reason children and servants are indisciplined,” and that it was “is riddled with such condemnable ideas and the questions that follow are equally nonsensical.”

Priyanka Chaturvedi, P-Rajya Sabha, and Deputy Leader Shiv Sena. who is also a member of the Parliament Committee for Women Empowerment wrote to Education Minister Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and Chairman CBSE asking for an “unconditional apology, an explanation as to how this passage was cleared & lastly  disciplinary action against the ‘subject experts’.”

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, “Clearly the BJP Government endorses these retrograde views on women, why else would they feature in the CBSE curriculum.”

Member of Parliament (Madurai Constituency). State Committee Member CPIM S. Venkatesan asked that action must be taken “against those spreading anti-constitutional ideas like gender inequality among students.” 

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi called it “downright disgusting. Typical RSS-BJP ploys to crush the morale and future of the youth."

Late on Sunday, CBSE PRO Rama Sharma issued a media statement: “The matter will be referred to subject experts for considered views as per the pre-set procedures of the board. As regards the correct answer option and the answer key released by the board, it is clarified that if the experts opine that the passage elicits multiple interpretations, appropriate action will be taken to protect the interests of the students.”

According to an IE report, after Gandhi’s submission in Parliament, the Opposition wanted the government to respond to it with a statement. However, Cabinet ministers did not react to it and Speaker Om Birla said “it was not a practice in the Lok Sabha to respond to the issues raised during Zero Hour”, the Opposition – including the Congress, DMK and Left parties – walked out in protest.

Related:

Why does UGC want herds of students to take ‘cow science’ exams?
Are citizenship and secularism ‘disposable’ subjects for Indian students?

 

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