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Indian state says will review ‘meaningless chapters’ on Mandela, other figures in school textbooks

The government of Rajasthan has decided not to give “undue importance to foreign authors”, or have their children read “meaningless” chapters on historic world figures like iconic figure Nelson Mandela or romantic poet William Wordsworth.

“It is strange and unfortunate that Rajasthan students have been reading chapters on Africa and poems by foreign authors while they are ignorant about our own tribals and poets,” a senior committee member of the Rajasthan secondary education board was cited as saying a report published by Times of India.

“These textbooks giving undue importance to foreign authors and chapters are meaningless. The committee is thoroughly examining the books to bring forth the work of Indian authors which is closer to our motherland.”

According to the TOI report, the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education (RBSE) is changing English textbooks for Class I to XII under orders from state education minister Vasudev Devnani, who is pushing an agenda of ‘local to global’ through the textbook re-writing committee formed by him. The report quoted unnamed sources to say that chapters which are not compatible with the ‘local culture and value system’should be removed from the syllabus.

Interestingly, a chapter on of the Prime Minister’s pet projects, the Beti Bachao Andolan, which addresses female foeticide and infanticide, will be included, along with stories on women empowerment.

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