The Government of India is looking at a “nationalist curriculum” in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) schools to counter what it calls a “false narrative” impacting youth in the state, a media report quoting officials says.
Apart from the curriculum, a review meeting by the government last week also discussed ways to “revitalise” madrasa education and set up more Navodaya institutions and Kendriya Vidyalayas in the state, The Indian Express reported.
Chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the discussions on J&K primarily focused on education and connectivity among various development issues, officials were quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
The review, in which issues related to Left Wing Extremism (LWE) were also discussed, included Union Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Prakash Javadekar, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha and Environment Minister Harshvardhan.
“We have suggested that the HRD ministry can strengthen Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas and other CBSE-affiliated schools in the Valley and introduce a nationalistic curriculum to counter the false narrative,” said an official.
In October, the government appointed former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma as its “representative” for sustained dialogue in the Valley. “While the talks are on, a need was felt to give fresh impetus to key development issues by the Centre. This was the first review undertaken on development issues,” the official said.
At the review, the HRD Ministry’s flagship Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQEM) was taken up. “It was suggested that there is a need to revitalise the programme,” said the official. Under SPQEM, the capacities of madrasas are strengthened so that subjects such as science, mathematics, languages and social studies are taught after enhancing the honorarium for teachers, said officials.
They said that SPQEM encourages the linkage of madrasas with the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) as accredited centres for providing formal education, which will enable students to get certifications for Classes V, VIII, X and XII. According to officials, J&K has nearly 240 functioning madrasas.
The review also discussed ways to improve J&K’s education infrastructure by opening more hostels for girls, upgrading schools under the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan and extending the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, officials said.
(Picture for representational purpose)