Telangana withdraws 25 lakh Telugu textbooks mentioning KCR as CM

The district officials are now waiting for further instructions from the School Education commissioner.
Telangana withdraws 25 lakh Telugu textbooks mentioning KCR as CM

HYDERABAD : A day after they were distributed to lakhs of students across the state, the School Education department on Thursday withdrew over 25 lakh Telugu textbooks from Class I to SSC, as well as SSC workbooks, as the foreword mentions K Chandrasekhar Rao as the chief minister.

However, the decision to withdraw these books has snowballed into a political controversy with former education minister P Sabitha Indra Reddy finding fault with it.

The School Education department is now in a dilemma on what to do with these withdrawn books in which the foreword mentions not only KCR and Sabitha, but also former education ministers K Srihari and G Jagadish Reddy.

The officials who distributed the books on the first day of the reopening of the school on Wednesday, took the textbooks back from the students across the state while the undistributed textbooks were kept in safe custody.

The district officials are now waiting for further instructions from the School Education commissioner. It remains to be seen whether the School Education department will print the textbooks afresh or just replace the page with the foreword with a new page.

Not only the foreword of the Telugu textbooks from Classes 1 to 10, but also of Abhyasa Deepika (workbooks) of SSC mention KCR and Sabitha as the chief minister and education minister respectively. The officials also took these books back from the students.

Realising the mistake on Thursday, the School Education department instructed all the District Educational Officers to withdraw all books that mention KCR as the chief minister, both distributed and undistributed.

Schools education dept asks DEOs to send compliance report on withdrawal of books

Likewise, officials were instructed to withdraw all workbooks mentioning the former ministers. The district officials were also instructed to send a compliance report on withdrawal and safe custody of the textbooks and workbooks.

In Nalgonda district, officials received around 85,000 Telugu textbooks from Class 1 to 10. However, the attendance was thin on the first day of reopening of schools, hence only about five per cent of the books were distributed and were taken back on Thursday. The remaining books were in safe custody. In Karimnagar, the officials distributed around 55 per cent of the books and all were taken back.

Meanwhile, responding to the School Education department’s decision, Sabitha, the former education minister, recalled that the TDP government decided to distribute education kits with the pictures of former chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to students so as to not waste money.

“Even the MK Stalin government in Tamil Nadu distributed books and school bags with the photograph of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa,” Sabitha recalled and said that the chief ministers of AP and Tamil Nadu CMs behaved in a dignified manner.

Referring to tearing of the foreword pages, she said that the national anthem and national song were printed on the backside of the page.

“Officials who tore the page have insulted the national anthem and song due to their grouse against KCR,” she alleged.

The KCR government decided to distribute school bags from this academic year, Sabitha recalled and demanded the government to implement the same.

She also advised Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy to behave in a dignified manner and focus on governance. She also wondered what was wrong if textbooks had KCR’s name.

Former minister faults officials

Former education minister P Sabitha Indra Reddy, meanwhile, said: “Officials who tore the pages have insulted the national anthem and song due to their grouse against KCR.”

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