The Education Department suspects conspiracy behind the distribution of the old social science textbooks containing the controversial portion ‘Mathamillatha Jeevan’ in some schools in Palakkad and Malappuram districts. Additional Director of Public Instruction has started an investigation into the matter. The books were mixed with new social science textbooks in the packets received from the book depot.
“Such an incident will not happen without somebody deliberately placing the books in the packet. It is an attempt to tarnish the reputation of the Education Department and the government. We are investigating the issue and the culprits will be penalised according to the law,” sources close to the Education Minister said.
Two teachers of a school near Areekode were suspended in connection with the incident. According to the Education Department, they tried to tarnish the image of the department by informing mediapersons about the matter. The Kerala State Teachers Association (KSTA) has taken up the issue. KSTA is demanding the reinstatement of the suspended teachers besides finding out the real culprits. “The government is not interested to find out those who actually mixed the controversial books along with the original textbooks. The suspension of the teachers is politically motivated. The government is trying to cover up its fault by taking action against the teachers who are not directly involved in the issue,” said KSTA Malappuram district office-bearer Shafi.
However, Malappuram DDE K C Gopi justified the decision to suspend the teachers. “The teachers brought all the students who had the controversial books to a single classroom and allowed a news photographer to take pictures. An investigation proved that it was a deliberate attempt by the teachers to tarnish the image of the department,” the DDE said.
The LDF Government had banned the book in 2009 and its copies were handed over to the Kerala Books and Publications Society. Nobody in the department has any idea how the books were mixed with the new textbooks. However, the pressure is on the Education Department to find out the real culprits to save its face.