The Kerala government has taken a remarkable initiative by compiling omitted portions from school textbooks, which were removed by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). They have created a new textbook that allows students to study and appear for exams. Kerala’s State General Education Minister, V Sivankutty, proudly highlighted that Kerala is the only state in India to undertake this effort, driven by its strong educational background. This proactive move by the Kerala government came to light during a session in the state assembly when the UDF opposition inquired about the implementation of the National Education Policy 2023 (NEP 2023). In response, Sivankutty shed light on the broader educational landscape in India, pointing out that the NEP 2023 hasn’t been universally accepted across the country. Tamil Nadu outright rejected it, and Karnataka adopted only specific provisions. What has garnered attention is Kerala’s response to the omissions made by the NCERT in textbooks. The NCERT, responsible for national educational standards, decided to remove certain sections from school textbooks, including critical topics like the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, the alleged role of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in, portions related to the Mughal rule, and empire in India, segments detailing the Indian freedom struggle, and accounts of particular communal riots. These omissions mainly affected textbooks for classes 11 and 12. In response, Kerala took a bold step by compiling all the omitted portions and creating a new textbook. Importantly, this isn’t just a textbook; it represents a comprehensive syllabus for students to engage with and be assessed on. The release of these supplementary textbooks was a significant event, with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan unveiling them in August this year. This initiative is commendable for several reasons. Firstly, it highlights Kerala’s commitment to providing students with a holistic and inclusive education that recognizes India’s historical and socio-cultural diversity. By restoring content omitted at the national level, Kerala’s educational authorities ensure that students receive a well-rounded understanding of the country’s history and socio-political landscape. Secondly, Kerala’s action demonstrates its autonomy and assertiveness in educational matters. It sends a powerful message that the state won’t compromise on its educational values and standards and will proactively address gaps created by national-level decisions. Lastly, this initiative aligns with Kerala’s reputation for prioritizing education. The state consistently records high literacy rates and has an impressive track record in providing quality education to its residents. This move to compile and reintroduce omitted portions into the curriculum further reinforces Kerala’s dedication to upholding and enhancing its educational standards. Kerala’s decision to compile omitted portions from school textbooks is a bold and commendable step that reaffirms the state’s commitment to education. By offering students a comprehensive syllabus that includes the omitted content, Kerala not only preserves its educational heritage but also sets a remarkable example for the rest of the country. In an era where educational standards are scrutinized, Kerala’s proactive approach sends a strong message that quality education should not be compromised, and history should be presented in its entirety.
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