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New Delhi: The Gujarat government on March 17, Thursday announced in the assembly that the Bhagavad Gita will be a part of the school syllabus for classes 6 to 12 across the state from the academic year 2022-23.
Education minister Jitu Vaghani made the announcement in the legislative assembly during a discussion on budgetary allocations for the education department.
The decision to introduce the values and principles enshrined in the Bhagavad Gita in school curriculum was in line with the new National Education Policy (NEP) unveiled by the Union government, which advocates the introduction of modern and ancient culture, traditions and knowledge systems so that students feel proud of India’s rich and diverse culture, the minister said.
Speaking to reporters later, Vaghani said people from all faiths have accepted the moral values and principles outlined in the ancient Hindu scripture.
“Hence, we have decided to introduce the Bhagavad Gita in the school curriculum for classes 6 to 12. For students of classes 6 to 8, the scripture will be introduced in the textbook of ‘Sarvangi Shikshan’ (holistic education). From classes 9 to 12, it will be introduced in the form of storytelling in the textbook of the first language,” he said.
“For instance, a few chapters will have what great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave or others spoke about the Bhagavad Gita. This would be a part of the main subjects and not optional. These will be introduced in such a manner that an interest is generated. In Gujarati subject exam, there might be a question on Gandhi’s interpretation of the Gita,” secretary education Vinod Rao told The Indian Express.
He further said that for classes 9 to 12, the core of Bhagavad Gita like humanitarianism, equality, concept of karma yoga, concepts of selfless service as well as the management concepts and leadership lessons in Gita will be part of Gujarati subject textbooks.
The government resolution, as reported by the newspaper, said that for Class 6 to 8, printed and audio visual content will be prepared by Gujarat Council of Educational Research and Training (GCERT), while for Classes 9-12, it will be prepared by Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB).
Schools will also organise activities based on the scripture such as prayers, shloka recitation, comprehension, drama, quiz, painting and elocution competitions, education minister Vaghani said.
Study material such as books and audio-video CDs will be provided to schools by the government, he added.
According to India Today, both the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party have welcomed the decision to include Bhagavad Gita in the school syllabus.
(With inputs from PTI)