The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has identified educational institutes run by affiliate Vidya Bharti to increase its outreach.
It has also managed to get the attention of the government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a four-day conference of Vidya Bharti school principals on February 12 in the capital. The event will also be attended by human resource development minister Smriti Irani.
Vidya Bharti functionaries claim YSK Sheshu Kumar, chairperson of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), and Prof. Hrushikesh Senapaty, director of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT), will also be in attendance. There is however, no official confirmation on their presence.
The four-day conference is being organised in New Delhi from February 11 to February 14 to underscore the need for imparting “moral values” in society through curriculum.
Participants are expected to brainstorm on issues like curriculum framework, moral education in schools and how to lighten the school-bag. The conference’s underlying theme however is ‘social reform through students’.
“The idea is to reach out to over 50 lakh families whose children attend Vidya Bharti schools and colleges. We see students as agents of social change and an important means to bring about social reforms,” a senior RSS functionary told Hindustan Times.
As many as 1250 principals of Vidya Bharti schools from across 527 districts will attend the four-day meet. NCERT and CBSE officials have been invited to share their best practices with these principles as well as to gain understanding of how moral education needs to be imparted, the functionary said.
“Education these days has become a means for earning money; students are churned out as ‘packages’. Our aim is to draft an education plan that will produce citizens who will assist in nation building. Principals from the Vidya Bharti schools, some of which are run from the remotest corners of the country, will get knowledge on how to groom model citizens,” said a Vidya Bharti functionary.
Vidya Bharti runs 12,364 schools and 49 colleges, with a combined enrollment of nearly 35 lakh students. There are also 2,37,691 students enrolled in 9806 Saraswati Sanskar Kendras, that Vidya Bharti runs and the plan is to have one lakh such Kendra or Ekal Vidyalayas in far off villages and tribal areas by 2019.