Syllabus rehashed, history not compromised: Experts

Chandigarh, May 1: The chapters on Sikh history removed from Class XII have been incorporated in a new book for Class XI. Besides, the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) has carried out a first-ever exercise of getting history books for the two classes written by a panel of experts.

Till now, the books were produced by private publishers without keeping readability in mind. And these cost more than Rs 400 each, while the board books will be costing around Rs 100. The experts say only the publisher has been changed and there is no change in the content. The board earlier recommended books of private publishers. The practice has been discontinued by Secretary (School Education) Krishan Kumar.

Board officials say the SGPC was seized of the matter. They say Dr Paramvir Singh, a member of the Sikh History Research Board, was taken on the panel of experts on the recommendation of the SGPC.

A subject expert from the PSEB, requesting anonymity, said: “Earlier, we only gave the outline of the syllabus. The private publishers made the chapters according to their own convenience. We have covered all subjects of Sikh history. The books provide for a long list of classroom activities besides a long list of recommended books at the end to encourage students to do extra reading.”

The alleged deletion of 23 chapters from Class XII history book of the PSEB — pertaining to important aspects of Sikh history — had raised a storm with former Education Minister and SAD spokesperson DS Cheema demanding a high-level probe and writing to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on the issue. The latter dismissed the SAD charge as malicious.