Rajasthan schools to organise event to worship parents on Valentine’s Day
Rajasthan’s education department would organise “matra-pitra pujan samman (worshipping and honouring parents)” on February 14 in its schools every year to counter Valentine’s Day, minister Vasudev Devnani told the state assembly.Updated: Mar 06, 2018 10:52 IST
Valentine’s Day will now be part of the school calendar in Rajasthan, but with a twist.
The education department would organise “matra-pitra pujan samman (worshipping and honouring parents)” on February 14 in its schools every year to counter Valentine’s Day, minister Vasudev Devnani told the state assembly late on Monday.
“The students should first love their parents before loving anyone else,” the education minister said. The event would instill a sense of love and respect for parents among schoolchildren.
Devnani, an electrical engineer by training, was in the news when India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru was removed from school textbooks to make way for a chapter on Emergency.
The department also came under fire for saying that Mewar ruler Maharana Pratap defeated Mughal emperor Akbar in the Battle of Haldighati, a claim disputed by several historians.
“We rewrote history because it was distorted. We want our students to be proud of Indian culture and become an ideal citizen,” he had told Hindustan Times, defending the decision.
His education department also drew flak for changing from black to saffron the colour of bicycles given to girl students as part of an initiative to bring down the dropout rate. The decision to introduce surya namskar, or sun salutation , in schools was criticised by minority communities.
On Monday, Devnani also told the House that the teacher training camps would be named after Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay, the ideologue of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, the ideological parent of the ruling BJP.
He also announced several technological interventions in schools to make them more efficient and paperless. “The new textbooks for classes 9 and 10 will come with QR codes. There will be 389 QR codes which will take students to reference material and videos related to the content,” he said.
The minister also announced digital classrooms in 150 girl hostels being run with the support of the union human resource development ministry.
Rajasthan is not the first state to have its own plan for Valentine’s Day. Last year, the Chhattisgarh government had asked schools to celebrate February 14 as Parents Day to acquaint “students with Indian culture and traditions”.