India to Reduce Course Loads, Add Yoga in Government Schools


Minister for Human Resource Development Smriti Irani has announced that yoga will become a subject taught in government-run schools throughout India.

“Yoga will be taught in upper primary and secondary (Class VI to X). We have decided that 80 per cent will be for practicals. I want an assurance from students that they will perform the practicals with full devotion,” she said at a function here but did not specify from when it will be introduced.

80 out of 100 marks will be reserved for practicals where students will be required to display what they have learned throughout the year, the remaining 20 will go toward theory, with no additional burden placed on the students.

Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia spoke of the need to reduce course loads burdening students in government schools and replacing them with life skills.

“Delhi government will give its full support to this initiative of including yoga in curriculum of students.  I am, as an individual and as a minister, in favour of this policy, regardless of who takes the initiative,” Sisodia said.

Sisodia went on to say that the Delhi government plans to introduce yoga as well as other co-curricular activities by reducing students’ course loads by 25%.

Officials are still determining whether or not the subject could be introduced in schools this academic year.  It is not clear because some of the books on yoga, published by NCERT, are still being printed.

“Our aim behind this (bringing yoga as a subject) is that our children go to school happily. Therefore, our aim is to give a push to physical activities in schools,” the minister said while seeking to assuage fears of another examination for students already under pressure with subjects like Maths, Science, Commerce and Humanities.

Irani went on to say that a yoga competition will be established for next year that will offer the student who performs the best a cash prize.

The syllabus and course materials were released the day after the International Yoga Day celebrations.  The minister added that it was up to each state to decide on their own whether to adopt the syllabus at their schools and to link it to their own course curriculum.

A training module for a teacher education program is also in the works in order to ensure teachers are well-trained in the subject.

“We have prepared syllabus for teachers as well. One is diploma in yoga education, bachelors in yoga education and masters in yoga education,” she said.

Irani also announced the creation of a mobile app that will launch on July 17.  The app will allow users to download NCERT books from class I to XII for free.

06 23, 2015
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