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CBSE Drops ‘Misogynistic’ Passage After Facing Flak, Will Give Full Marks to All

As per the CBSE’s marking scheme the correct answer was that the writer “takes a light-hearted approach to life.”

Updated
India
3 min read
CBSE Drops ‘Misogynistic’ Passage After Facing Flak, Will Give Full Marks to All
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“It was only by accepting her husband’s sway that she (wife) could gain obedience from the young.”

“In bringing the man down from his pedestal the wife and mother deprived herself, in fact, of the means of discipline.”

These are the lines from a comprehension passage used in the Class 10 Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) examination conducted on Saturday, 11 December, triggering outrage with handles on social media calling it “regressive” and “misogynistic."

The board announced on Monday that the passage has been dropped and that all students will be given full marks for it to ensure parity.

A passage from the question paper read:

“What people were slow to observe was that the emancipation of the wife destroyed the parent’s authority over children,” read a part of the passage. “It was only by accepting her husband’s sway that she (wife) could gain obedience from the young."
CBSE Drops ‘Misogynistic’ Passage After Facing Flak, Will Give Full Marks to All

One of the Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) asked whether the writer “seems to be a male chauvinist pig (sic) or an arrogant person.”

However, as per CBSE’s marking scheme the correct answer was that the writer “takes a light-hearted approach to life.”

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CBSE Drops Passage, Will Give Full Marks to All

Following the outrage, the CBSE said that they have received “mixed reactions” from parents and students who stated that “it seems to support regressive notions on family and allegedly promotes gender stereotyping.“

The board said in a statement: “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."
CBSE Statement

Later, in a circular released on Monday, the CBSE said that the passage is “not in accordance with the guidelines of the board with regard to setting of question papers."

The circular added, "In this backdrop and on the basis of feedback received from stakeholders, the matter was referred to a committee of subject experts. As per their recommendation, it has been decided to drop the passage No.1 and its accompanying questions of the Question Paper Series JSK/1.”

Further, full marks will be awarded for this passage to all the students concerned. Moreover, to ensure uniformity and parity, full marks will also be awarded to students for passage No 1 for all sets of the question paper.

'Condemnable Ideas': Sonia Gandhi in Lok Sabha

Referring to the controversial passage, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, while addressing the Lok Sabha on Monday, said that the passage contains "atrocious statements," such as "women gaining independence is the main reason for a wide variety of social and family problems."

Gandhi added, "The entire passage is riddled with such condemnable ideas and the questions that follow are equally nonsensical."

"I raise strong objections to such blatantly misogynist material finding its way into an important examination conducted by the CBSE. It reflects extremely poorly on the standards of education and testing and it goes against all norms and principles of a progressive and empowered society," Gandhi remarked.

Further, Gandhi urged the Ministry of Education and CBSE to immediately withdraw the question, issue an apology, and conduct a thorough review into this "egregious lapse to ensure this is never repeated ever again."

Moreover, Gandhi added that the Ministry of Education must also conduct a review on gender sensitivity standards of the curriculum and testing.

Earlier, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi had called out the “drivel” and had said in a tweet: “Clearly the BJP Government endorses these retrograde views on women, why else would they feature in the CBSE curriculum?”

Several handles on Twitter hit out at the question, stating that it was "misogyny on full display," and it appears "like the writer is expressing regret for emancipation of women."

(With inputs from PTI.)

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