Students, parents and national politicians have voiced their outrage over the content of a reading comprehension passage in a grade 10 English exam of the Central Board of Secondary Education on Friday.
When Anita (name changed) read the English questionnaire of her Grade 10 Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) exam on Friday, she was shocked at the content of the passage selected for a reading comprehension exercise.
“What people were slow to realize was that the emancipation of women destroyed the parents’ authority over the children … By taking the man off his pedestal, the woman and mother were in fact depriving themselves of the means of discipline,” the conclusion said the passage that attributed teenage indiscipline to a “feminist revolt”. In contrast, it described a bygone era when a husband was “master of his own house”, his wife “formally obedient” and “children and servants thus came to know their place.”
“I can’t believe we’ve been given such a regressive and inappropriate passage. It is very disappointing that the CBSE board was able to do so on a national level exam in 2021, ”said Anita, a student at a well-known Chennai school.
What many students perceived as an additional insult to the injury prompted a multiple-choice question following the passage to characterize the author. While many offended students said they chose “a male chauvinistic pig” as the most appropriate answer, the correct answer according to the CBSE Answer Key is that the author “takes a lighthearted approach to life”. Other options included that the author was “a disgruntled husband” or “cares about his family’s wellbeing”.
answer to The Hindu‘S Asking, a CBSE spokesman said the passage had received “mixed responses,” adding that “the matter is being referred to subject matter experts for deliberate views, according to the board’s pre-set procedures.” Regarding the answer key, the spokesman simply said: “If the experts believe that the passage gives rise to multiple interpretations, appropriate measures will be taken to protect the interests of the students.”
When news of the offensive passage became public, congressional leaders joined the students on Saturday in indignation.
“Unbelievable! Are we really teaching kids this gibberish? ”Said Congress President Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in a tweet. “The BJP government clearly supports these backward views about women, why else should they be included on the CBSE curriculum?” She added, marking the board and prime minister.
Tamil Nadu MP Jothimani wrote to the chairman of the CBSE, Manoj Ahuja, asking him to remember the paper and discuss it with the students.
“Having such passages in a questionnaire would only normalize such regressive, misogynistic thinking,” she wrote, calling for an awareness session to be held in every CBSE Class 10 classroom “to clarify why such regressive ideas fail in the 21st century Be allowed to find space. ”