Questions about Dalits and Muslims in a class VI question paper face wrath on social media 

A question paper is being circulated on social media of a Central government-run school in Chennai. This has raised massive controversy as some questions have caused much consternation

Photo courtesy: social media
Photo courtesy: social media

NH Web Desk

A question paper is being circulated on social media of a Central government-run school in Chennai. The question paper has raised massive controversy as a couple of questions have caused much consternation, reported The Hindu. Following are the questions quoted by The Hindu from the question paper:

Question no. 17- “What do you mean by Dalit?” and choices for answers were: (A) Foreigners (B) Untouchables (C) Middle Class (D) Upper class

Question no. 18 read: “What is the common stereotype about Muslims?” and choices for answers were: (A) They don’t send their girls to school (B) They are pure vegetarian (C) They do not sleep at all at the time of Roza (D) All of them.

Although just one of the pages of the entire question paper was circulated, it is learnt that the question paper was based on a class 6th book of Social Science which is published by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the report in The Hindu said.

These two questions are from a chapter called ‘Diversity and Discrimination’. The questions are from two subheads- ‘On being discriminated against’ and ‘Inequality and discrimination.’

The paragraph on page 18 pertains to Muslims and reads: “A common stereotype about Muslims is that they are not interested in educating girls and therefore do not send girls to school. However, studies have now shown that poverty amongst Muslims is an important reason why Muslim girls do not attend school or drop out from school after a few years. Wherever effort has been made to reach education to the poor, there the Muslim community has shown an interest in sending their girls to school.” The para further presents Kerala as a success model, where proximity of schools to houses improved girls’ attendance and job opportunities. The para ends: “Therefore, poverty, not religion, is the cause for non-attendance of Muslim girls in school.”

Similarly, on page 19, the para on Dalits reads: “Dalit is a term that people belonging to so called lower castes use to address themselves. They prefer this word to ‘untouchable’. Dalit means those who have been ‘broken’. This word, according to Dalits, shows how social prejudices and discrimination have ‘broken’ the Dalit people. The government refers to this group of people as Scheduled Castes (SC).

The report in The Hindu says that according to the Deputy Commissioner of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, he has checked with the schools in the city and found no such question papers. He further added that it could be any school that uses NCERT books.

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