Chapters on witch-hunting, human trafficking to figure in Jharkhand school books

  • Saurav Roy, Hindustan Times, Ranchi
  • Updated: Dec 14, 2015 22:38 IST
For representative purpose only: The chapters on witch-hunting and human trafficking will be included in the syllabi of students studying in classes 6 to 8. (HT File Photo)

The Jharkhand school education and literacy department is planning to incorporate chapters on witch hunting and human trafficking in school textbooks, starting 2017. The state is proposing the same in a bid to educate the new generation to curb the menace, officials from the department told HT.

“We are planning to include lessons on witch hunting and human trafficking in the syllabi so that the children are aware of the evils,” state school education and literacy secretary Aradhna Patnaik said.

The chapters would be included in the syllabi of students studying in classes 6 to 8, she said.

According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, Jharkhand in 2013 witnessed the maximum number of witch-hunting cases in India — of the 160 murders committed in the country with witch-hunting as a motive, 54 were from Jharkhand alone. From 2008 to 2013, Jharkhand saw 220 such murders, NCRB data revealed.

“It is important to teach children about social evils from an early age, so that they grow up and abolish these practices,” Patnaik said.

The chapters, she said, would be included in the textbooks published and printed by the Jharkhand Council of Educational Research and Training (JCERT), which will begin operations for students of classes 1 to 5 in 2016, and for students of classes 6 to 8 from 2017.

Human trafficking too has been a menace in the tribal-dominated state from where thousands of children, especially tribal girls, are trafficked to different metros every year and forced into slavery or the flesh trade, claim activists.

Children in the 12 to 15 years age group are most vulnerable to trafficking agents due to a lack of awareness and the urge to explore new opportunities, said Rishi Kant, founding member of Delhi-based NGO Shakti Vahini.

“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,” he said.

The state planned to do away with NCERT textbooks and form its own JCERT earlier this year to include locally-relevant lessons in the syllabi. The JCERT syllabi will also have lessons on local personalities, freedom fighters and scholars, officials said.

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