The Ministry of Education of Ukraine Wants to Remove the Word “Parents” from School Textbooks

Translated by Ollie Richardson


The Ministry of Education of Ukraine said that the Anti-discrimination examination of school textbooks prepared for printing at the expense of the State budget that started in 2017 found egregious examples of discrimination in them.

The Ministry of Education offered an explanation: one of the suggestion was to remove the word “parents” from textbooks. This was reported by the official website of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.

The examination found that “most children cannot find in Ukrainian textbooks any reflection of themselves, their family, or those special circumstances that they live in”.

In particular, many words – like “Negros”, “Yids”, “Gypsies” – were found and removed from textbooks. The examination found that heroes representing people with disabilities are completely absent in textbooks, and the elderly are presented exclusively as being weak.

In addition, the Anti-discrimination examination recommends to replace the word “parents” with the word “relatives” in textbooks.

The justification: now in Ukraine 3 million children live in incomplete families, and this applies to nearly 40% of the total number of school students. Therefore a task in a textbook such as “Together with your parents your make a daily routine for your family” or “Together with your parents discuss where it is possible to play”, according to experts of the Ministry of Education, emphasises the limited opportunities of nearly a half of Ukrainian children and force them to feel inferior.

For the same reason caution is advised when producing textbooks where images only depicting a full family are selected.

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