Islam text books withdrawn after One-Country-One-Law Task Force raises concern

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The Education Ministry with immediate effect has recalled the Islam text books for Grade 6, 7, 10 and 11 after the Presidential Task Force for ‘One Country, One Law,’ raised concerns over the contents of the books.

Issuing a directive to principals of National and other schools that have received the text books in Sinhala and Tamil, Educational Publications Department Commissioner General P.N. Illapperuma instructed the recall of the text books and a halt to their distribution to students until the text books are amended.

Mr. Illapperuma told the Sunday Times those books contained some objectionable words according to a communication his office received from the Presidential Task Force and the Institute of National Security Studies, a think- tank that comes under the Defence Ministry, on the need to review the contents of the books since they might contain ideas of extremist ideology.

“There is no need for significant changes to be made in those text books except for minor changes. We will rectify them soon and distribute the amended books,” the Commissioner General said.

The department had earlier appointed a review committee to study the text books and make recommendations. The committee consists of  Nirmala Piyaseeli, Commissioner Development, S. Muralitharan, Director of Education-Estate School Development, Nimal Dharmasiri, Director of Religious Education, N. Alalasundaram, Director of Education-Tamil Schools Development,  J. Chandrabalan, Assistant Commissioner-Publications, and Indunil Piyasath, Assistant Commissioner-Publications.

The committee’s report was submitted to two officials who are in charge of Islamic studies in the department — M.T.A. Rahman and I.A.M. Afsan — to make necessary changes and implement the recommendations of the report.

The One-Country-One Law Presidential Task Force pointed out that in its recommendations, the Presidential Commission to investigate Easter Sunday attacks had stated: “All religious educational books published for the use of students in national and provincial schools as well as international schools should be scrutinised to ascertain whether any extremist or terrorist literature is included directly or indirectly.”

Courtesy Sunday Times

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