School textbooks and their curriculum play a significant role in shaping a student’s mind. They are the primary source of information and knowledge for any child, which is why it is imperative to keep them updated with the changing times. If not, it can spread the wrong message just like the mistake in Kerala class X textbooks which said that the HIV virus can be contracted after pre or extramarital intercourse.
Understanding this importance, the Maharashtra state board decided to promote gender equality by including illustrations of men completing household chores and women in successful career roles in their textbooks.
Now, the state publishing bureau Balbharti has upgraded the Class XI Sociology textbook to include non-traditional, modern families with step-parents, single parents and same-sex parents.
According to the Hindustan Times, the school textbook also talks about the striking down of Section 377, live-in relationships and the increase in the number of divorces in the country. The concept of cultural hybridisation is illustrated through a picture of a barbie doll wearing a hijab.
The chairperson of the subject committee responsible for the much-needed revisions, Vaishali Diwakar said, “The committee was of the opinion that students need to learn more than just the concepts. We also wanted the book to be a reflection of the changing social fabric.”
Vaishali Joshi, associate professor of Sociology, St Mira’s College, Pune welcomed the move saying,
“We are not just saying that same-sex relationships exist but are putting across a point that such couples are very much a part of our society. We are hoping that this would help remove the taboo associated with non-normative relationships. The decriminalisation of homosexuality has acted as a good starting point for this conversation.”
We hope that the revised curriculum for 2019-20 helps promote equality and discourages discriminatory behaviour towards the LGBTQIA+ community.