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Rajasthan's Indian tradition-based school curriculum in offing, so are controversies
Rajasthan's education minister for school education, Vasudev Devnani has articulated his intent of course content and curriculum from class I to VIII in the government schools by including the topics like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan; Indian values customs and traditions; protecting environment; road safety rules; Maharana Pratap; Hemu Kalani; local history; local gods and goddesses; social reformers and freedom fighters of Rajasthan, etc.

According to Devnani, the curriculum needs to be localised and contextualised at the elementary school level by the course content areas put forward by him. Of late, the ruling BJP in the state has been aggressively persuing for the change in curriculum ever since Devnani took over the school education portfolio.

However, many educators and educationists see the BJP's bid for curriculum change as saffronizing of the school curriculum. Recently, government's attention was drawn towards the dismal state of reading levels of elementary school students but the government seems to be pushing its own agenda into the curriculum, its being felt.

It seems that all curriculum development committees have been side-tracked and the public debate on school reform has been buried.

"There are human values, nothing like our values and their values. Moreover values are caught from the school's social and ethically sound learning environment and can never be taught. Research has proved it. If the schools stress on developing thinking skills, students will be able to rationally discern good in the culture and traditions along with reforming or rejecting what is useless. In the modern age if you force down certain things against the precepts of educational science, which has already thrown up the tested knowledge and what is relevant and appropriate for children, then so called educational reform can be very counterproductive," said an educator and trainer who has associated by innovative educational projects in Rajasthan.

There is a need to learn from the tried out educational projects of Rajasthan which have won worldwide acclaim and inspired school education reforms in many developing countries with quality learning and values built into the educational design and system, he added.

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