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NCERT Panel Urges Integration of Epic Sagas in School Syllabus

A high-level committee appointed by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to revise the school curriculum for social sciences has recommended that epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata be included in textbooks, and that the Preamble to the Constitution be written on classroom walls, said committee chairperson CI Issac on Tuesday.

The seven-member group, which was formed last year, has made many recommendations for its final position paper on social sciences, which is a vital prescriptive document for establishing the groundwork for new NCERT textbooks.

The committee’s suggestion will now be considered by the 19-member National Syllabus and Teaching Learning Material Committee (NSTC), which was formed in July to finalize the curriculum, textbooks, and learning materials for these classes.

In addition, the NSTC has recently organized a Curricular Area Group (CAG) for Social Science in order to generate Syllabi and Teaching-Learning materials for the field.

Emphasising that it is significant to teach Ramayana and Mahabharata to students in classes 7 to 12, Issac said, “The committee has insisted on teaching epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata in the social science syllabus to students. We think that students in their teenage years build their self-esteem, patriotism and pride for their nation. Every year thousands of students leave the country and seek citizenship in other countries because of the lack of patriotism among them. Therefore, it is important for them to understand their roots and develop love for their country and their culture.”

“Although some school districts currently teach the Ramayana to children, they do it as a myth. What exactly is a myth? If kids are not taught these epics, the education system serves no purpose, and it is not nation-serving,” he continued.

Issac has previously stated that the panel had also proposed changing the moniker ‘India’ in textbooks with ‘Bharat’ and adding ‘classical History’ rather than ‘ancient History’ in the syllabus of textbooks for grades 3 to 12.

“It was previously suggested that the Ramayana and Mahabharata be included in the curriculum.” “The committee has made no new recommendations,” he stated.

Explaining the idea behind recommending writing the Preamble of the Constitution on the walls of the classrooms, Issac said, “Our Preamble is noble. It gives importance to social values including democracy and secularism. Therefore, we have recommended writing it on the walls of the classrooms so that everyone can understand and learn from it,” Issac added.

The NCERT is changing the school curriculum in accordance with the 2020 National Education Policy (NEP). The new NCERT textbooks are expected to be available at the start of the next academic session.

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Source: HT

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