As Mumbai schools reopen only on June 15, a week ahead of Yoga Day, principals are worried whether teachers and students will get enough yoga training.
Maharashtra education minister Vinod Tawde said the government will send volunteers to train school teachers, but schools have said this has not been done so far.
“It could be risky to hold mass yoga programmes when students have not had prior training,” said Rajesh Pandya, a teacher at Fatimadevi English School, Malad. “Training them for only five or six days will not be enough.”
While some private schools have yoga as part of their curriculum, Pandya said their school doesn’t teach it to students, which means they do not even have yoga teachers. “Just one physical training teacher will be responsible for hundreds of students,” Pandya said.
Schools with mainly Muslim students raised another concern — the month of Ramzan would have just started and most students will be fasting. “I don’t think it is a good idea to strain students during Ramzan,” said Zahir Kazi, president of the Anjuman-i-Islam group of institutions. Kazi said the school will also not ask students to do the surya namaskar.
Late on Thursday, Tawde issued a press statement that said trainers will be sent to schools a week in advance. “Schools are free to choose yoga asanas they are comfortable with,” said Tawde. He also reiterated that observing Yoga Day is not compulsory.