Gender stereotyping row: CBSE to set up expert panel to review, strengthen paper setting process

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NEW DELHI: The CBSE on Monday decided to set up a committee to thoroughly review and strengthen the question paper setting process after outrage over a comprehension passage in class 10 English exam that allegedly promoted “gender stereotyping” and supported “regressive notions”.

The Board said the passage was not in adherence with the guidelines issued by it and expressed regret over the incident.

Earlier in the day, the board said it had dropped the particular passage and accompanying questions from the exam paper and announced that it will award full marks to students for the said questions.

“CBSE is committed to equity and excellence in education and promotes inclusiveness and gender sensitivity. CBSE has dropped a passage and accompanying questions which were asked in English term 1 paper for class 10 as it was not in adherence with guidelines issued by the board for external paper setters.

“CBSE regrets the unfortunate incident and is setting up an expert committee to thoroughly review and strengthen the question paper setting processes to avoid such occurrences in future,” the board said in an official statement.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had referred the matter to subject experts on Sunday and sought their feedback.

In the Class-10 exam conducted on Saturday, the question paper carried a comprehension passage with sentences such as “emancipation of women destroyed the parents’ authority over the children” and “it was only by accepting her husband’s way that a mother could gain obedience over the younger ones”, among others.

Raising the issue in Lok Sabha, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday condemned the “blatantly misogynist” and “nonsensical” questions, saying those reflected “extremely poorly” on the standards of education and testing.

She demanded an apology from the government and a review into this “gravest lapse”.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also took to Twitter to raise the issue.

Excerpts from the passage have gone viral on social media platforms with users calling out the board for supporting “misogynistic” and “regressive opinions” and the hashtag “#CBSEinsultswomen” trending on Twitter. (PTI)