Kolkata: The West Bengal government has suspended two women teachers in East Burdwan district. The teachers have been charged with teaching pre-primary students from an English book an alphabet book in a manner related to racism. The book has a portion derogatory to people with a dark complexion.
While presenting the alphabets with corresponding words and images, the book says ‘U is for Ugly’. The illustration printed beside the letter is that of a boy with a dark complexion.
“The book is not part of the textbooks referred by the education department. It was introduced by the school itself. We have zero-tolerance for acts which instill prejudices into the minds of students. So the teachers have been suspended,” Education Minister Partha Chatterjee told reporters here.
Chatterjee informed that the two teachers of a local municipality-run school have been placed under suspension with immediate effect. Based on a preliminary investigation, stricter action would be taken against the teachers later, he added.
The school is now closed because of the lockdown. The matter came to light when the father of a student of the school was teaching him with the help of the same book. He informed other parents and the education department was apprised of the issue, sources said.