AAP accuses BJP, RSS of 'saffronising' school curriculum
The Aam Aadmi Party on Monday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of doing politics over education and said the ruling party at the Centre is more focused on creating a Hindu ideology than improving the education system.
AAP leader Atishi Marlena said that when the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) had sought suggestions from the public on reviewing school textbooks of all classes, Dina Nath Batra, the head of the Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas, an RSS-affiliated outfit, recommended removal of Urdu and Arabic words and poetry of certain known poets from the textbooks.
"They (RSS) recommended removing Urdu and Arabic words, couplets by Mirza Ghalib and a poem by Pash, an extract of painter M F Husain's autobiography from school textbooks. They also want to remove the thoughts of Rabindranath Tagore and certain topics that talk of inequality.
"The BJP and RSS have been doing politics over education. They want to take our education system into the ideological battle of Left vs Right and Hindu vs Muslim," Marlena said.
She further accused the BJP of "saffronisation" of textbooks and said Batra's recommendations reflected the BJP and RSS's model of education.
Marlena said that the main question should be how to make the curriculum children-centric and improve quality of education with the use of technology.
She added that the performance of BJP-ruled states in education related issues has been very poor.
An annual Status of Education Report (ASER) survey has shed light on poor readability standard of students of government schools in many states, she said.
Marlena said that according to the report, 46 per cent of Class V students in Haryana cannot read Class II level Hindi textbooks.
These numbers in other states were 48 per cent in Gujarat, 70 per cent in Madhya Pradesh, 38 per cent in Maharashtra and 77 per cent in Uttar Pradesh.
"Our (Delhi government) schools are not a battleground of religion and ideology. We admit that in our schools too, children lack in reading. But at least we are focusing on improving their readability and making efforts in this regard," Marlena said.