Owing to the increase in reports of crimes against women, the union Human Resources and Development (HRD) ministry has told states to promote gender sensitisation in schools by re-evaluating textbooks and curriculum.
The HRD ministry also wants schools to introduce a gender module for teachers who undergo training programmes as they feel such modules will help students fight gender stereotypes from a young age.
The ministry, through a circular issued on March 26, said the in-service training will be in the form of programmes that will equip teachers teach gender sensitisation to their students. Educationist Arundhati Chavan said that gender, equality and values have already been included as a core element in the curriculum. “However, teachers do not explain the issue to students, but just teach the subject to complete teaching deadlines,” she said.
Chavan said teachers can teach students to be gender sensitive by showing them documentaries, organising activities such as role playing and asking students to write their views on how women around them are being treated.
The ministry has also proposed self-defence classes for girls between Classes 6 and 8 as part of the physical education subject. The module will be introduced in the city’s civic schools also.
The circular states that efforts have also been made to introduce value education and gender studies in the school syllabus by the National Council of Education Research and Training.