The Aam Aadmi Party on Monday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party and the RSS of doing politics over education and said the ruling party is more focused on creating a Hindu ideology than improving the education system.
AAP leader Atishi Marlena said the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) had sought suggestions from the public on reviewing school textbooks of all classes, so 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 to remove Urdu and Arabic words, couplet by Mirza Ghalib and a poem by Pash, an extract of painter M.F. Husain’s autobiography. They also want to remove the thoughts of Rabindranath Tagore and certain topics that talk of inequality,” Marlena said.
“The Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh 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,” she said.
The AAP leader also accused the BJP of “saffronisation” of textbooks and said the recommendations by Batra reflected the model of education of the BJP and RSS.
She said that instead of doing politics over education and textbooks, the question should be how curriculum can be made children centric, how quality of education can be improved with the use of technology.
Marlena said the performance of BJP-ruled states in education related issues has been very poor.
An Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) survey indicates the poor readability standard of the students of government schools in BJP ruled states, she said.
According to ASER report, in Haryana 46 per cent, Gujarat 48 per cent, Madhya Pradesh 70 per cent, Maharashtra 38 per cent and Uttar Pradesh 77 per cent Class 5 students cannot read Class 2 level Hindi textbooks, she said.
“Our (Delhi government) schools are not a battle-ground of religion and ideology. We admit that in our schools too children lack in reading but at least we are focusing on improving their readibility and making efforts in this connection,” Marlena said.
“I want to ask the BJP what should be your concern: Should it be removal of Ghalib’s poetry from the textbooks, or improvement in the education standards?”
The AAP leader said that the BJP was not serious about improving education system in the states ruled by it. “Had they been serious about proving education standards, they would have raised the education budget in the BJP governed states.”