Speeches by ‘saints’ in schools on the third Saturday of each month have been made a mandatory part of extracurricular activities by the Rajasthan Education Department.
In the Shivira Panchang, the yearly calendar of the state Directorate of Secondary Education, it has been made mandatory for schools to invite saints as part of this activity. “Review of contemporary news of national importance and speeches by a great personality or local saint,” says the schedule of extra-curricular activity listed for the third Saturday of every month.
On the first Saturday of each month, the students will be imparted knowledge on inspirational instances from the life of a ‘great person’. The second Saturday has been reserved for storytelling sessions involving “inspirational stories that are educating”. The calendar lists the fourth Saturday of a month as an occasion to organise a quiz on epics and similar literature. In case there is a fifth Saturday in a month, ‘inspirational plays’ will be staged on that day and students will have to sing patriotic songs, states the calendar.
The calendar is mandatory for all government and private schools affiliated to the Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education. “Members of the Assembly had demanded in the past that there should be such an initiative in schools to inculcate moral values among students and the honourable education minister had given them assurance on this,” Nathmal Didel, Director of Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education, told The Indian Express.