Textbooks for class 6 to 8 students in Jharkhand government schools will soon have chapters on witch-hunting and human trafficking. The state school education and literacy department is planning to incorporate lessons on the two issues in the syllabi from the 2017 academic session bid to educate the new generation about ill-effects of these evil practices and to curb the menace, officials from the department told HT on Monday.
“It is important to teach children about social evils from an early age so that they grow up and abolish the practices,” state school education and literacy secretary Aradhna Patnaik said.
According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau data, in 2013 Jharkhand witnessed maximum number of witchhunting cases in India. Of the 160 murders committed in the country with witch-hunting as motive, 54 were from Jharkhand alone in the year.
The chapters, Patnaik said, would be included in the textbooks published and printed by the Jharkhand Council of Educational Research and Training (JCERT) to be functional from 2016 for students of classes 1 to 5, and from 2017 for students of classes 6 to 8.
Human trafficking too has been a menace in the tribal-dominated state from where thousands of children, especially tribal girls, are trafficked to big cities and forced into slavery or flesh trade, claim activists.
“It’s a welcome move. Students of classes 6 to 8 are the most vulnerable and need maximum attention in Jharkhand. It will certainly help combat trafficking,” said Rishi Kant, founder member of NGO Shakti Vahini.
The state plans to do away with NCERT textbooks and form its own JCERT to include locally-relevant lessons.