The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), in its initiative to revise the school curriculum for social sciences, has put forth recommendations from a high-level committee. According to CI Issac, the committee's chairperson, the proposals include the incorporation of epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata into textbooks. Additionally, the committee suggests displaying the Preamble of the Constitution on classroom walls.
Formed last year, the seven-member committee has put forth numerous recommendations in its conclusive position paper on social sciences. This paper serves as a crucial guiding document for establishing the groundwork for the creation of upcoming NCERT textbooks.
The 19-member National Syllabus and Teaching Learning Material Committee (NSTC), established in July to conclude the curriculum, textbooks, and learning material for certain classes, may now consider the recommendations put forth by the committee. Additionally, the NSTC has recently instituted a Curricular Area Group (CAG) for Social Science tasked with creating syllabi and teaching-learning material for the subject.
Highlighting the importance of instructing students in classes 7 to 12 on Ramayana and Mahabharata, Issac emphasized the significance of incorporating these epics into the curriculum. “The committee has insisted on teaching epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata in the social science syllabus to students. We think that students in their teenage years build their self-esteem, patriotism, and pride for their nation. Every year thousands of students leave the country and seek citizenship in other countries because of the lack of patriotism among them. Therefore, it is important for them to understand their roots and develop a love for their country and their culture.”
“Although some education boards presently teach Ramayana to students, they teach it as a myth. What is a myth? There is no purpose of the education system if the students are not taught these epics, and it will not be nation-serving,” he added.
Earlier, Issac mentioned that the committee had suggested substituting the term 'India' with 'Bharat' in textbooks. Additionally, the panel proposed the introduction of 'classical History' instead of ancient History in the curriculum for textbooks covering classes 3 to 12.
He stated, “The recommendation to include Ramayana and Mahabharata in the syllabus was also made earlier. The committee has not made any fresh recommendations.”
Explaining the grounds behind recommending writing the Preamble of the Constitution on the walls of the classrooms, Issac said, "Our Preamble is noble. It gives importance to social values including democracy and secularism. Therefore, we have recommended writing it on the walls of the classrooms so that everyone can understand and learn from it," Issac added.
Aligning with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, NCERT is in the process of updating the school curriculum. The anticipated completion of the new NCERT textbooks is expected by the upcoming academic session.
Image source: India Today