The Delhi government is starting a 10-month-long campaign to help students connect with “constitutional values”. The programme, which will run in government as well as private schools, will start on July 1.
Students from classes VI to XII in all government and private schools will be required to engage with centrally decided monthly themes relating to the Constitution in one social science or political science class a week, and dedicate half a day every month to activities such as panel discussions and presentations on the same theme.
These classes and activities will not begin before July 1, owing to board examinations and the general elections. “I want all teachers to initiate discussions to understand what the ultimate goal of learning science and maths is — why the Preamble is relevant to all these subjects. The children need to understand their subjects and learning against the larger goals of the country, and what they need to serve it,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told The Indian Express.
According to a government statement, the need for the campaign was felt because the standard response of teachers and students to the civics curriculum is that it is ‘boring’, ‘not relevant’ and ‘not practical’. “This signals a crisis. On one hand, we have students coming out of schools uninspired and ill-equipped to understand civic issues. On the other hand, communities face governance and development issues that could be addressed only through citizen engagement,” read the statement.
Sisodia added that the monthly themes will be around keywords in the Preamble. Tania Joshi, principal of The Indian School pointed out that how topics come alive in civics and political science for students depends entirely on teachers: “The relationship that students build with subjects… rests on the kind of examples and connections drawn by teachers. This intervention by the government will be welcome though, as I consider political science to be the most important subject.”