Now, ed­u­ca­tion to make stu­dents more pa­tri­otic

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Nee­lam Pandey nee­[email protected]­dus­tan­

From in­tro­duc­ing mil­i­tary lessons in schools to com­pul­sory hoist­ing of the na­tional flag, ed­u­ca­tion must help make stu­dents more pa­tri­otic than they are, a group of min­is­ters have sug­gested to the coun­try’s top ed­u­ca­tion pol­icy-mak­ing body.

Among their other sug­ges­tions are build­ing more mil­i­tary-fo­cused schools, teach­ing bi­ogra­phies of na­tional he­roes and mak­ing the singing of the na­tional an­them manda­tory for chil­dren to cre­ate an “ecosys­tem of morals, ethics and pa­tri­o­tism”.

The ideas were pushed by sev­eral cen­tral min­is­ters as well as those from BJP-ruled states at a meet­ing of the Cen­tral Ad­vi­sory Board of Ed­u­ca­tion (CABE) on Oc­to­ber 25. The min­utes of the meet­ing were ac­cessed by HT this week. CABE is the high­est ad­vi­sory body on ed­u­ca­tion for cen­tral and state gov­ern­ments.

The sug­ges­tions echo an in­creas­ingly stri­dent brand of na­tion­al­ism whose rise has co­in­cided with the elec­tion of Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s govern­ment two years ago. Many op­pose this resur­gent na­tivist wave as just a means to curb per­sonal free­dom and dis­sent.

In the Oc­to­ber 25 meet­ing, Deepak Joshi, Mad­hya Pradesh’s Mo for school ed­u­ca­tion, sug­gested that more Sainik schools be built than state-run Ken­driya and Navo­daya Vidyalayas be­cause “na­tion­al­ism and pa­tri­o­tism is need of the hour”.

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