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Sports, yoga, academics to be on equal footing

HRD minister Prakash Javadekar has been emphasising the fact that apart from academic education, students should acquire life and creative skills.

education Updated: Mar 12, 2018 11:48 IST
Neelam Pandey
Neelam Pandey
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
HRD ministry,School curriculum,CBSE
Yoga is currently deemed an extracurricular activities.(HT File Photo)

The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry plans to introduce an integrated curriculum in schools, including sports, vocational crafts and yoga with academics in an effort at ensuring a holistic approach to the development of students, officials familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.

Many of these are now deemed extracurricular activities.

The draft National Education Policy (NEP), likely to be submitted to the HRD ministry by March 31, has also made a suggestion to the effect.

A nine-member panel mandated to prepare NEP recently held a meeting to discuss key proposals and a road map to speed up the work.

The panel is headed by space scientist K Kasturirangan, who was chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from 1994 to 2003 and led the Karnataka Knowledge Commission.

“The segregation of curriculum into academics and sports, or extracurricular, leads to academics being given more importance over, for instance, sports. Parents too, often encourage their children to focus on academics. We want to change that and ensure a holistic development of students,” said one of the HRD ministry officials.

At a recent workshop, the HRD ministry discussed with other stakeholders, including the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), the possibility of putting in place a system under which marks will be awarded to students for proficiency in sports.

CBSE will likely be assigned the task of deciding how this assessment will take place.

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, minister of state for youth affairs and sports (independent charge), suggested at a meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), which advises the Centre and state on policy decisions, that fitness and sports should be included in the school curriculum .

Experts welcomed the move towards a single inclusive curriculum.

“The inter-disciplinary approach is integral to education and is not something new. It can certainly help the child view the world as a holistic entity,” said Ameeta Wattal, principal of the Pusa Road branch of Delhi’s Springdales School. “It is not about creating Picassos but inculcating an ability to appreciate arts, music and sports...such activities will bring a completely different dimension to the mind and bring in imaginary thoughts that will make children happier.”

HRD minister Prakash Javadekar has been emphasising the fact that apart from academic education, students should acquire life and creative skills.

First Published: Mar 12, 2018 07:15 IST