The Gujarat government is planning to introduce yoga in the curriculum of all 15,000 secondary and higher secondary schools across the state from 2016. This is in line with Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani’s recent announcement to make yoga a more integral part of the physical education programme in the central government-run schools.
The decision to introduce yoga in government and non-government schools from the next year was recently taken by a committee led by education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama. Already, the process of new curriculum framework for Class IX onwards is in the final stages, where review meetings under respective panels are being carried out before it is incorporated by the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB).
In the new curriculum, there will also be chapters on popular central government programmes such as Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. There are also proposals to add a few inspirational chapters on renowned personalities from Gujarat like Dhirubhai Ambani and Nanji Mehta.
“From June 2016, yoga will be introduced in all government schools in Class IX onwards. For this, during the Diwali vacations, this year, all teachers will be trained in yoga. The expert committee has been designated the task of formulating the curriculum for yoga that aims at not only training them in different asanas, but also impart knowledge on the benefits of yoga,” said minister Chudasama.
Sources said Lakulish Yoga University will help frame the curriculum for the state education department. The university, was inaugurated by then chief minister Narendra Modi in April 2013, was the nodal agency for the International Day for Yoga celebrations in the state and had trained the participants, including ministers, school and college students, ahead of the June 21 event.
Directions have also been given to the committee members that includes senior education officials apart from education experts to frame chapters on a few social issues that can be taught to students in schools. In this direction, the secondary school students from the next year will be taught central government campaigns like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao and Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.
“It is an attempt to make students as well as teachers understand about social issues like gender gap and cleanliness. This way, it can percolate down to the society and help in bringing a change in the longer run as children are the future,” revealed one of the committee members.
The education minister too said he has asked the committee members to frame the curriculum in such a way that it seeks greater participation on these issues from the students and teachers. “Merely teaching them is not the aim but how to motivate them to contribute in taking these campaigns to another level,” Chudasama said. The new curriculum will have dedicated chapters on traffic rules, environment awareness, tree plantation and deforestation.
Further, the education department is planning introducing chapters on popular Gujarati personalities — Dhirubhai Ambani and Nanji Mehta. The founder of Reliance Industries Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani, the business tycoon who is popularly known as Dhirubhai Ambani was born in 1932 in Chorvad village in Junagadh.
While, industrialist and philanthropist Nanji Kalidas Mehta, who had set up the Mehta Group of industrial conglomerate, was born in 1887 in Gorana village near Porbandar. His grandson Jai Mehta, husband of Bollywood actor Juhi Chawla is the owner of Mehta Group.
These names have come up during the meeting headed by the education minister on Friday. The final selection will soon be soon done by the expert committee.
Previous year too, there was a decision to introduce a chapter on Narendra Modi, which later turned into a controversy forcing the Gujarat government to shelve the plan. The Prime Minister himself had expressed displeasure over the state government’s earlier decision and tweeted that he believed living personalities should not be taught as a part of curriculum.