Nation Narrated in Government School Textbooks of Nepal

Saroj G.C.

A few educational and pedagogical researches have been attempted regarding the nature and design of the school textbooks in Nepal, and few efforts have been made to critically analyze how the curriculum and its textbooks aim to construct the children for the future. However, education is taken for granted as a facilitator of promoting different aspects of a nation. For example, education is taken as a prominent aspect of development; it is pervasively deemed as the backbone of any nation’s national progress. As nation imagines its progress, it simultaneously imagines of citizens what they should be like. However, what kind of values and perceptions the school textbooks try to implant in the minds of students is a rarely contested site. This paper tries to redefine the basic purpose of education as presented in government school textbooks of Nepal. More specifically, informed by the insights basically founded in Critical Discourse Analysis, this paper tries to explore how the content of the textbooks of subject like Nepali and Social Studies have been used to proliferate the ideologies, and belief system rather than the primary purpose of educating them, that is, empowering them with critical engagement, linguistic and cognitive skills, the questioning attitude and critical thinking on the part of the students at bay, and also tries to tether the urge to teaching the student for the competence and empowering their will to learn critically.

This paper first will discuss the objectives of subject, then will try to analyze how these objectives have been sidelined for the sake of mere preaching the ideologies, and concludes that the units included in the textbooks have been used not to fulfill the basic purpose of education. Instead, they are used as a means of spread the national beliefs and values, and attempts to assess how the nation has been represented in the textbooks. Therefore, how textbooks of school curricula reflect the national imagination on citizenry is the basic contention of this research.

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