The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), in its new study material for open text-based annual exams for Class IX students, has picked a clutch of themes straight out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s list of favourites.
While the Swacch Bharat campaign and Mangalyaan are common themes for both English and Science, the texts on each of the topics differ for the two subjects. Riddled with grammatical errors, the texts contain questions and model marking scheme for teachers.
As many as 15,000-odd schools affiliated to CBSE follow the open text book assessment system in which students are evaluated on topics announced before the exam. The idea behind the system is to help students understand a particular subject through analysis rather than mug it.
“Public spaces in India’s cities are often an eyesore, full of rotting piles of trash along the streets, in neighbourhoods, public parks and outside fancy air-conditioned malls and five-star hotels. On Gandhi Jayanti, this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the clean India or Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign that aims to clean all places of human habitation in India of filth and litter,” reads the text for the English paper.
Calling the Clean India campaign a “ten billion dollar” one, the English text reads: “Our Prime Minister said, ‘I will not litter, I will not allow others to litter’, is what we must resolve if we are true children of this motherland’. As we clean our homes every day, why can’t this attitude not be extended to overall cleanliness and Swacch Bharat?”
“India’s tryst with Mars”, another theme for English, reads clumsily: “Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) will map the Martian geography, study the atmosphere and look for signs of Methane gas, an indication of life on Mars. What is even more significant is that MOM proved the government’s ‘Make in India’ push, eminently practical: the $74-million Indian craft.”
The text discusses the impact of space programmes on India’s economy and society and the status of India in the field of space research. The material also says that MOM has shown us “yes, we can”, a phrase picked up from US President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, also used by Modi during his campaign.
The study material for Science focuses on understanding the environment of Mars. It has been prepared keeping in mind the scientific concepts Class IX students are familiar with. The material talks about the Mars mission, includes a press release by ISRO and a photograph of Modi addressing the scientists.
Additionally, one of the two themes in the math study material for Class IX students is ‘Atithidevo Bhava’ and talks about treatment of foreigners visiting India, another subject the PM has spoken about.
CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi did not respond to calls from The Indian Express.
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