08/08/2020 India (International Christian Concern) – According to Asia News, the state government of Karnataka, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has proposed to drop chapters regarding Islam and Christianity from the social science textbooks for grades 1 to 10.
State authorities cut the 2020-21 syllabus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These cuts included chapters on India’s Constitution, Islam, and Christianity, various media outlets reported.
Historically, students studied these topics in grade 9. However, reports noted that grade 9 teachers were asked to avoid these topics since they already studied in grade 6.
“To do away with lessons on Islam and Christianity from the school syllabus may keep students ignorant of the positive values of these religions,” Archbishop Peter Machado of Bangalore told AsiaNews. “But also infuse them with feelings of indifference, distrust, and hostility.”
“I hope the syllabus committee will undo the damage and restore the lessons on Islam and Christianity in the school standards as before, for a complete holistic education of the child.” Archbishop Machado added.
After complaints, Suresh Kumar, Minister of the State’s Department of Public Instruction, released a statement on Thursday, July 30, saying, “The decision to drop certain chapters has been put on hold. A review will be done following which the deleted chapters will be uploaded to the website.”