New Delhi: A new controversy has emerged over the CBSE Class 10 English question paper, which was held on Saturday. The board has referred the matter to subject experts after allegations that a comprehension passage promoted “gender stereotyping” and “regressive notions”.
The question paper carried a comprehension passage with sentences like “emancipation of women destroyed parent’s authority over children” and “it was only by accepting her husband’s way that a mother could gain obedience over 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” and the hashtag “CBSE insults women” trending on the microblogging site Twitter.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also 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.
The CBSE issued a statement saying, “The passage in one set of the English paper of CBSE Class 10 first term examination 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 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 board said.
In another controversy on the English paper, students and teachers had pointed out that ‘Question numbers 13 and 14 in the second comprehension of the English paper didn’t have any questions but only had the MCQ answer options”.
A CBSE official, however, clarified that the instructions were clear.
“With regard to the queries raised about English Class 10 Q no 13 and 14 in set 002/2/4, it may be noted that both the questions are correct and there is no ambiguity,” said CBSE spokesperson Rama Sharma.
“Questions are to be replied as per the instructions given and not in isolation,” she said.