PMO Wants HRD to Introduce Sainik School Model in All Schools

The elements of military school training the PMO wants introduced in regular schools include discipline, physical training and ‘patriotic sentiments’.

The Sainik School in Purulia. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Sainik School in Purulia. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

New Delhi: The prime minister’s office (PMO) has advised the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to introduce certain elements of military school training in regular schools as well – including discipline, rigorous physical training and ‘patriotic sentiments’. This, according to the PMO, will ensure the “holistic development” of students. According to a report in the Indian Express, senior MHRD officials were called to the PMO for a meeting to discuss this on Tuesday (July 18).

Sainik Schools in India came up in the 1960s under then defence minister V.K. Krishna Menon, to try and change the class and regional biases within the army. Students in such residential schools (there are 25 across the country) are prepared for military life – by being mandated to join the National Cadet Corps, for example – along with being taught a regular school curriculum. To get into such a school, a student needs to give a national entrance exam.

This model, the MHRD reportedly said, will be incorporated in Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, especially Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas since they are also residential schools. The PMO also suggested copying the Sainik School model in all Central Board of Secondary Examination-affiliated schools – which includes about 20,000 private schools across the country.

This idea was first floated by the NDA at a meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (the highest government advisory body on education) in October 2016. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Union minister of state for HRD, was quoted by Amar Ujala as saying at that meeting that military school training will help students be more “patriotic” and “nationalist”. He added that if of the 10,000 students who went to Nalanda University even 2,000 had military training, “foiled Bakhtiyar Khilji’s plan to plunder and raze the institute,” Indian Express reported.

Madhya Pradesh education minister Kunwar Vijay Shah also said at the CABE meeting that more Sainik Schools should be set up by the government as “nationalism and patriotism is the need of the hour,” according to Indian Express.