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A Gujarat School Exam Asked Students in What Way Mahatma Gandhi Died by Suicide

This private school’s goof-up has now resulted in an inquiry against it.

by Shamani Joshi
14 October 2019, 9:07am

Photo by Daniel Christiansz from Pixabay 

Mahatma Gandhi, commonly called India’s ‘Father of the Nation’, is known globally for being the non-violent leader from Gujarat who fuelled the nationalist movement in India to kick out the British colonisers. To respect Gandhi's views on alcohol and pay homage to him, the state of Gujarat has even imposed prohibition.

You’d think that at least the state that has such a strong connection with him would get all his life details right. Which is why it was pretty ironic when an exam in a school in Gujarat asked students how Gandhi died by suicide, when he was actually assassinated by Nathuram Godse in 1948.

The school in question was a private institution under the Sufalam Shala Vikas Sankul, which self-finances some private schools in Gujarat. And while government school authorities were already enraged about the question paper goof-up, the same school management also asked its 12-graders to write an essay about the rise of liquor sales in Gujarat, a dry state. This pissed off the state education authorities so much that they’ve now launched an inquiry into this institution. "These questions are highly objectionable, and we have initiated an inquiry," Gandhinagar’s District Education Officer Bharat Vadher told PTI. “Action will be taken after the report comes in. The state education department did not have any role.” In all fairness though, reports of alcohol consumption being on the rise in the dry state have been doing the rounds since some years now. Still, confusing the end of life of one of India's most prominent and respected figures, is a massive blunder.

While the Indian education system has always been called out for encouraging a culture of rote learning and giving way too much importance to marks, this mistake sheds light on the growing concern of teachers and examiners messing up, from their lessons to even their evaluations. It’s about time the system got schooled.

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Sufalam Shala Vikas Sankul