Concerned over the perceived loss of cultural and moral values in younger students,the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) education unit has decided to introduce a divinity course in its affiliate schools. The course will combine theory and practical knowledge in an effort to educate students on the values encouraged by various religious scriptures. SGPC sources said that the class will likely be in place for the upcoming April school session,adding,Teachings from the Guru Granth Sahib,the Bhagwad Gita,the Holy Quran and Buddhism will be covered from Class I to X.
SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar has approved a draft proposal of the initiative and the course is to operate as a full-scale subject,with proper examinations,in the 2009 academic session. There will be terminal exams which students would have to clear to secure a position in the next class,said an SGPC member.
Complaining that modern education ignores ethics,SGPC education director Gurmohan Singh Walia said,The next generation should know what yoga and bhangra is. They should know what sat sri akal means and many other basic things of life.
While CBSE board wants to standardise the standard of education for students attending religious schools and madrasas,the SGPC is intent on pursuing its own divinity class. The CBSE has room for add-on courses and this will surely meet with their approval after we implement it in our schools. It will not be limited to religious teachings but emphasise good moral values that parents would want their child to know ,said Walia.
Over 50,000 students attend SGPC-runs schools in Punjab,Haryana,Uttar Pradesh,Mumbai and Himachal Pradesh. The organisation also plans to introduce the divinity class into the colleges it manages in these regions after applying to the University Grants Commission.
At a recent conference,SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar had asked SGPC school principals to introduce the programme,telling them,It will instill moral values in coming generations and help revive our heritage.