Tuesday 28 June 2022
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CBSE Class X English paper critiqued for ‘gender stereotyping’

Recently, the CBSE had apologised for the Class XII sociology examination question paper where it had asked under whose rule Gujarat riots had taken place

A comprehension passage in the CBSE English question paper has stoked controversy for allegedly promoting “gender stereotyping” and supporting “regressive notions” prompting the board to refer the matter to subject experts on 12 December.

In the examination held on 11 December, the question paper carried a comprehension passage with sentences like “emancipation of women destroyed the parent’s authority over the children” and “it was only by accepting her husband’s way that a mother could gain obedience over (sic) the younger ones”, among others.

Various excerpts from the passage have gone viral on social media, with users calling out the board for supporting “misogynistic” and “regressive opinions”. The hashtag “CBSE insults women” trended on Twitter.

Indian National Congress (INC) General Secretary took to Twitter, objecting to the question paper. “Unbelievable! Are we really teaching children this drivel? Clearly, the BJP Government endorses these retrograde views on women, why else would they feature in the CBSE curriculum?” she said.

However, Gandhi-Vadra missed the fact that the board’s narrative sometimes goes in her party’s favour too. The CBSE Class XII sociology examination held earlier this month asked students to name the party under which the “anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002” took place, a question the board later said was “inappropriate” and against its guidelines.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) issued a statement saying, “The passage in one set of the paper of CBSE Class 10 first term examination held yesterday has received mixed reactions from a few parents and students, stating that ‘it seems to support regressive notions on family and allegedly promotes gender stereotyping”.

“The matter will be referred to subject experts for considered views as per the preset procedures of the board. As regards the correct answer option and the answer key released by the board, it is clarified that if the experts opine that the passage elicits multiple interpretations, appropriate action will be taken to protect the interest of the students,” the board said.

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