Move Comes In Wake Of CAA Protests

Vinamrata Borwankar & Bhavika Jain TNN

Mumbai:

The state education department has asked schools to ensure students read the Preamble to the Indian Constitution during assembly starting January 26, the 70th Republic Day. The students have also been asked to take an oath on Wednesday, pledging to protect the environment.

In a government resolution issued on Tuesday, the school education department said all primary and secondary schools must do a group reading of the Preamble during the morning assembly as prescribed in 2013. “All citizens should understand the scope of the principles and inclusivity of the Indian Constitution… a government resolution was issued on February 4, 2013, asking all schools to read the Preamble of the Constitution. However, it is observed that the rule is not being implemented,” said the GR.

The government has now launched the “Sovereignty of the Constitution, welfare for all” programme, where the Preamble must be read in schools starting January 26.

The move comes in the backdrop of CAA protests, where at rallies and marches against the CAA, NRC and the NPR, citizens have been reading the Preamble to affirm Indian Constitution’s secular principles.

Schools, however, are apprehensive about the directive. “Merely reading out the Preamble may not help. This has been tried in the past too and fizzled out. It would be better to improve the civics curriculum to give students a better idea of the Constitution and its principles,” said a management representative of an ICSE school. The school did not follow the rule in 2013.

Principal Prashant Redij said while the move was welcome, the government should introduce value education to help build responsible citizens. “We have been doing it since 2013, but we know only a few schools follow it,” he said.

Now, 5.5-yr-old kids eligible for Class 1

Children aged five years and six months this June can be admitted to Class 1 as soon as the state government sets December 31, 2020, as the cut-off date for eligibility. A government notification about the new cut-off date will be issued in a month and the decision would be applicable from the 2020-21 academic year, education officials said. P3

CM to lead students on oath to protect environment

The newly-minted threeparty government in Maharashtra has not yet announced its stand on CAA, but parties like Congress and NCP are against it.

Cabinet minister Ashok Chavan said on Monday that till the time Congress is in the Maharashtra government, CAA will not be implemented in the state. NCP leaders have been demanding that on the lines Kerala, the Maharashtra government too should pass an anti-CAA resolution. The Shiv Sena leadership has so far been silent, and by skipping the opposition meet to discuss CAA, they have sparked further rumours of not being on the same page with its allies on the issue.

Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray will lead students in taking an oath to protect the environment and create awareness about climate change. While Thackeray will take the oath at Mantralaya on Wednesday morning, schools have been urged to get students to participate as it would be telecast live. The pledge includes a promise to use cloth bags instead of plastic, conserve water, segregate waste and plant a tree on their own birthday and care for it.

Meanwhile, the BMC education committee on Tuesday gave its nod to affiliate its two schools, one each to the CBSE (Poonam Nagar School in Andheri) and ICSE (Woollen Mill Municipal School in Dadar) from the next academic year.

All state schools told to ring water bell

After the BMC, the Maharashtra government has told all schools in the state to ring the water bell thrice a day. The concept became popular after some schools in Kerala adopted it, and stories about it went viral on social media.

Similarly, on the occasion of Children’s Day, the Association of Primary Education (APER) and Research has appealed to schools across the country to introduce four water breaks for students each day. TNN

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