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Home / India / CBSE exam paper under fire for alleged gender stereotyping

CBSE exam paper under fire for alleged gender stereotyping

Various excerpts from the passage have been widely circulated on social media, with users accusing the board of supporting 'misogynistic' and 'regressive opinions'
Representational image.
Representational image.
File photo

PTI   |   New Delhi   |   Published 13.12.21, 02:07 AM

A comprehension passage in the CBSE Class X English question paper has triggered charges of “gender stereotyping” and supporting “regressive notions”, prompting the national school board to refer the matter to subject experts on Sunday.

The passage in the exam, held on Saturday, carried sentences such as “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 the younger ones”.

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Various excerpts from the passage have been widely circulated on social media, with users accusing the board of supporting “misogynistic” and “regressive opinions”. The hashtag “CBSE insults women” has been trending on Twitter.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted: “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?”

Tamil Nadu Congress spokesperson Lakshmi Ramachandran slammed the “outrageously nonsensical reading passage” and asked: “What are we teaching our children? CBSE has to give an explanation and tender an apology.”

Another Twitter user wrote: “Class 10 CBSE English paper today says children and servants must be taught their place and women gaining some independence destroyed parents authority over children. Entire passage is so stupid. Who are these idiots setting question paper in CBSE.”

The CBSE issued a statement saying: “The passage in one set of the English 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’.”

It added: “The matter will be referred to subject experts for considered views as per the pre set 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 CBSE Class XII sociology paper held earlier this month asked students to name the party on whose watch the “anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002” took place, a question the board later said was “inappropriate” and against its guidelines. 



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