New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday raised concerns over a passage in the CBSE exam paper, calling it “blatantly misogynistic” and urging the Education Ministry to issue an apology over it.
Raising the issue in Lok Sabha after the Question Hour when members raised issues of urgent public importance, the Congress president read out the passage that appeared in Class 10 English question paper.
A passage in the English paper of the CBSE Class 10 first term examination has been criticised by educationists, parents, and students for being misogynistic, and promoting gender stereotyping.
A part of the passage reads “What people were slow to observe was that the emancipation of the wife destroyed the parent’s authority over the children. The mother did not exemplify the obedience upon which she still tried to insist… In bringing the man down from his pedestal the wife and the mother deprived herself, in fact of the means of discipline.”
“I raise a strong objection to such blatantly misogynistic material finding its way into an important examination conducted by the CBSE,” Sonia Gandhi said.
“The entire passage is riddled with such condemnable ideas and questions that follow are equally nonsensical.
“I add my voice to the concerns of students, teachers, parents, and educationists and I raise strong objections to such blatantly misogynistic material finding its way into an important examination conducted by the CBSE.
“It reflects extremely poorly on the standards of education and testing and it goes against all norms and principles of progressive and empowered society,” Gandhi said.
“I urge the Ministry of Education and CBSE to withdraw this question, issue an apology and conduct a thorough review into this lapse to ensure this is never repeated again. I also urge the Ministry of Education must conduct a review on gender sensitivity standards on curriculum and testing,” she said.
The Congress president and other opposition MPs demanded the government to respond on the issue.
Several opposition leaders were seen standing at their benches and demanding a statement from the government.
As the government did not respond, opposition parties, including the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), DMK and Left party MPs staged a walkout from the Lower House.