With more reports of crimes against women, a group of schools from across the country are preparing a draft proposal to include ‘Education on Social Sensitivity’ in the school curriculum from kindergarten to Class 12. The schools will submit the proposal to the human resources and development (HRD) ministry, various state governments and education boards across the country.
The new subject will teach students to be sensitive towards and respect women, senior citizens, weaker sections of society and the environment. The draft will contain the best practices to teach social sensitivity to students through various activities incorporated in the school curriculum, and will recommend making the subject mandatory for all students.
The schools met for a two-day conference on the proposal in Mumbai recently. “It is an abstract subject and cannot be taught through textbooks, unlike value education. Teachers will need to inspire students to bring about an attitude change,” said Rekha Vijayakar, director, Guru Harkrishan High School, Santacruz.
“Generally, such subjects are introduced only in secondary section, but a lot of students drop out after primary school, and so they never get the chance to learn about it,” she said. “Toddlers can be taught compassion through activities that encourage them to look after a plant or a pet animal. Older students can be asked to adopt a neighbourhood or a road, giving them the responsibility to keep it clean,’’ Vijayakar added.