Claiming that it would promote “discipline, patriotic outlook, and physical fitness” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has reportedly directed the HRD Ministry to follow Sainik School elements in regular schools too. On Tuesday, top HRD officials attended a meeting called by the PMO to discuss this proposal.
According to Indian Express, the HRD ministry is learnt to be exploring ways to introduce Sainik School-like features in Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNVs). The Prakash Javadekar-led ministry has also discussed the PMO’s suggestion with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), to which about 20,000 private schools across the country are affiliated.
In a separate incident, Rajasthan’s Minister for Education (Primary and Secondary) Vasudev Devnani has said the new curriculum being designed by the The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) should focus on nationalism and incorporate content celebrating “local heroes” from various states.
The BJP minister said “Rajasthan’s initiatives in school education were appreciated by the Centre at these meetings. We have revised the curriculum incorporating local nationalist heroes, besides including chapters on demonetisation and flagship central and state government schemes like Swacch Bharat Abhiyan and the Bhamashah scheme,” he said.
The HRD ministry feels it would be easier to replicate such elements in Navodaya Vidyalayas, which are also residential schools.
Set up by erstwhile Defence Minister V K Krishna Menon in 1961, Sainik Schools are aimed at preparing youngsters for the defence services. Currently, there are about 25 such schools, managed by a society under the Ministry of Defence.
According to an earlier report by the Indian Express, Minister of State for HRD Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey wanted military education for students to promote the idea of patriotism and nationalism. He also reportedly claimed that if 2,000 of the 10,000 students at Nalanda University were trained in military education, they would have foiled Bakhtiyar Khilji’s plan to plunder and raze the institute.
Madhya Pradesh’s education minister, in the meeting of the Central Advisory Board of Education held October last year, also suggested that more Sainik Schools should be set up by the government as “nationalism and patriotism is the need of the hour”.
The PMO feels inclusion of such elements in all schools for “holistic development” of students.