Kolkata: A school education syllabus committee, appointed by the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government, has decided to trim heady doses of Marxism and include globalisation, movement of former South African president Nelson Mandela and contemporary women’s movement in the new history syllabus for Higher Secondary students.
The committee, constituted after the Trinamool Congress came to power in May last year, will submit its recommendations to the government next week.
“We have decided to restructure the history syllabus for the students of Classes XI and XII. If one goes through the present history text books, she or he would feel there are only three countries in the world – India, England and Soviet Russia. But we have decided to present an unbiased and pluralistic history to the students,” Avik Majumdar, head of the syllabus review committee, told IANS Friday.
“Thus in the recommendations, we have suggested to include movements of Latin America, history of Africa, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka,” Majumdar said.
He said the committee has tried to draft a new balanced syllabus of history, by cutting out excesses on Marxism, which had been there in the old syllabus, and including globalisation, Mandela and even the women’s movement.
“Marxism will be there in the books where it has relevance,” he clarified.
Some political observers and educationists had time and again raised the issue that history books during the erstwhile Left Front government were ‘overloaded’ with Marx, Engels and Bolshevik revolution.
“Text books are not a tool to brainwash students with a particular political ideology,” Majumdar, also a professor of comparative literature at Jadavpur University, averred.