The role textbooks have played in advocating the Western industrial model of development

Many years ago the co-founder of CHS-Sachetan, Winin Pereira, also conducted an analysis of school textbooks used in Maharashtra and found evidence that they actively promoted the Western industrial model of development, in which a small group of the rich and powerful control and exploit the vast majority.

The textbooks, which I was shown, conditioned children to see urban life as admirable. The advantages of village life – the clean air, varied wildlife, unbroken family and community ties – were ignored; instead the emphasis was placed on comparative size and quantity. The village “has small roads … only a few buses … small schools … few shops … small dispensaries.”

Pereira’s thinking is similar to the earlier work of another polymath, Ivan Illich –- and the later – and current practice of  Bunker Roy who founded and runs the Barefoot College in Tilonia and many other activities.

A summary of his findings may be read here.


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