CTTU urges withdrawal of Tamil text book

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 February 2000, 04:55 GMT]
The Ceylon Tamil Teachers Union(CTTU) Thursday requested the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to withdraw immediately a Grade-7 Tamil medium textbook -Social Studies and History- that was replete with language errors and distorted facts.

"This textbook would destroy the educational development of Tamil medium students if we allow the use of the book in our schools," said Mr.T.Mahasivam, Secretary of the CTTU in a letter to the Secretary of Ministry Of Education and Higher Education sent Thursday.

The letter further states:

"At least 15 grammatical, spelling and factual mistakes are found in each page of this book. Several articles in this 72 page-book are likely to hurt the feelings of Hindus.

27 pages of this book contain articles pertaining to Buddhist Sinhala culture and its history. Not even one percent of the space is given to other religions or races.

This book, prepared by the National Institute of Education, was published and distributed to schools free of charge by the Educational Publications Department. Not a single Tamil

or a Muslim participated in the preparation of this book.

Several Sinhala words have been introduced in this Tamil book, giving an impression that authorities are keen in forcing Tamil students to learn Sinhalese language.

This Tamil textbook would certainly affect the development of Tamil language and also would force Tamil students to learn a distorted version of the history of their country.

I regret to inform you that our teachers will not use this book in schools as part of the curriculum. Therefore our union kindly requests you to ban this textbook from being used in Tamil medium schools.

Last year when participating at the All Ceylon Tamil Day celebrations as the chief guest, you openly apologized for having prepared and published Tamil textbooks with several mistakes and distorted facts in 1999. You further announced at that meeting that you would take responsibility to publish Tamil textbooks without such mistakes and distortions in 2000.

But I regret to inform you that Tamil textbooks published by your Ministry this year have more mistakes than those in the Tamil books published last year," states Mr.Mahasivam in his letter to Mr. Andrew de Silva, Secretary to the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.


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