The textbooks prescribed by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for class two to five reinforces gender stereotypes, says a study conducted by an NGO Action Aid.
According to a report in NDTV.Com, the NGO’s study concludes that NCERT textbooks for classes two to five – including Mathematics, English and Environmental Sciences – contain references and examples that encourage gender stereotypes.
Though six out of every 10 school teachers in India, according to the study, for class two to five. Moreover, the father – a male – is always the head of the family and women always stay-at home in those books.
“We don’t have to reiterate the fact that textbooks and schools shape the minds of children. In the 21st century, when we are trying to build our country, one of the most important aspects of enlightenment is gender sensitivity,” said Dr Kshitij Urs, regional manager of Action Aid.
The study also observed that in an English textbook for class five, 56 per cent of illustrations represent only men, compared to 20.6 per cent of women. Similarly, a class two textbook contains sentences such as “I wonder if my teacher will look like my mother or grandmother”.
Action Aid will submit the findings of their study to the NCERT soon and has asked the central education agency to replace the textbooks and use gender neutral terms.