The West Bengal government on Thursday suspended two women teachers in East Burdwan district on the charge of teaching pre-primary students from an English alphabet book consisting of a portion derogatory to the people with 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 dark complexion.
"The book is not part of the text books 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," Education Minister Partha Chatterjee told reporters.
He said the two teachers of a local municipality-run school have been placed under suspension with immediate effect on the basis of a preliminary investigation and stricter action would be taken against them later.
Though 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 that book. He informed other parents and the education department was apprised of the issue, sources said.