State government plans for Sadbhavana schools to inculcate constitutional values among students

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Aiming at developing good human beings, good society and facilitating development of autonomous individual capable independent rational thought and action with compassion and humaneness, Chhattisgarh School Education Department plans to include Constitutional values in its School Curriculum and Culture.  The Department has come up with idea of introducing concept of ‘Sadbhavana’ Schools in Chhattisgarh.

According to School Education Minister Dr Premsai Singh Tekam, Chhattisgarh government is keen to promote Constitutional values in schools therefore it must become part of all school processes. Some of the most important Constitutional values are around the idea of ‘Sadbhavana’ which refers to respect for others, belief in equality and appreciating diversity.  Sadbhavana is also rooted in Gandhi’s philosophy of communal harmony and national integration.

The Minister recently held a meeting with the experts on the abovementioned matter. The Minister was of the view that all schools must be encouraged to demonstrate ‘Sadbhavana’ through their everyday practices and the Chhattisgarh government will formally recognise and appreciate those schools that demonstrate ‘Sadbhavana’.

A framework for recognising Sadbhavana schools will be developed including indicators of Sadbhavana in schools and process of assessing them. Moreover, capacity development programmes for school leaders, Community Advistory Committees (CACs), District Institute of Education and Training and State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) and education administrators on Sadbhavana and its practice in schools will be rolled out, schools will be encouraged to join Sadbhavana movement through strong communication material and processes, assessment of schools, recognitition and appreciation will follow and this will be tried out first in a few schools, piloted in two districts and then taken to the whole state.

Next steps will be identification of a team that will champion this SCERT this at SCERT, creation of Sadbhavana framework, indicators and assessment process, identification of pilot schools and districts and first workshop with SCERT, DIET, CACs and School principals and identified teachers.

Given the existing discrimination and violence on the basis of caste, class, gender, religious, other cultural differences in society, developing an appreciation for Constitutional values becomes paramount, felt the School Education Minister.

In this context, Sadbhavana can be broadly understood as respect for others, belief in equality and appreciating diversity. In short, Empathy is core to Sadbhavana.

School can play a nurturing role in  developing this value of Sadbhavana by building a caring school culture and community where the opportunity to inculcate values is woven into all of school culture, processes and practices.

Other important features of the concept are building a caring, collaborative and inclusive school culture, making care ‘visible’ e.g. in the way teachers talk to children and parents, the way tasks are constructed and organised, in the physical accessibility of learning resources, the organization of the time-table and in the distribution of responsibilities and participation amongst children,     opportunities provided for all children to participate in activities, events and celebrations – select children do not end up participating in all activities, regular conversations between children and adults with a focus on building relationships based on mutual respect – culture of enquiry, dialogue and reflection, platforms like ‘bal-panchayats’, bal-sansad and ‘bal-sabhas’ to help children voice concerns and discuss issues, teachers and students have a voice and a role to play in the management of the school -responsibilities are discussed, shared and divided, school maintains positive collaborative relations with parents/ caregivers and community members.

Similarly, ensuring physical, mental and emotional safety in schools will another key aspect of the concept, school and classroom environment ensure that all children are respected, valued and involved in the learning process, typical stereotypes around caste, class, gender and religion are challenged (e.g. girls cannot play football, boys cannot learn dancing, all Hindu are vegetarians, Muslims are aggressive, Brahmins are more intelligent than others, Baniyas can do mathematics better, poor children are dirty, poor children don’t grasp ideas quickly) will be taken care of, value integration to curriculum is not restricted to textbooks, instead it is seamlessly integrated into practice, all school members- HMs, teachers, school staff have a common attitude, belief, motivation and behaviour to achieve the required goal

Community has a great role to play in this Concept. Sadbhavana is treated as an evolving disposition which needs continuous nurturing within and outside school boundaries

School takes initiative to extend the values of Sadbhavana to the community by making parents/caretakers of children or other community members aware of its importance.

\Districts identified for pilot project

The program will be administered at few selected schools in seven districts across Chhattisgarh under pilot project. The districts are  namely Raipur, Dhamtari, Raigarh, Champa-Janjgir, Baloda-Bazar, Bemeteraand Sarguja.

In Raipur, Dharsiwa and Abhanpur will have the programme under pilot project followed by Dhamtari, Nagri and Kurud in Dhamtari district, Dharamjaigarh, Pussore and Kharsia in Raigarh, Nawagarh and Pamgarh in Janjgir-Champa, Baloda Bazaar and Bhatapara in Baloda Bazar-Bhatapara district and Bemetara and Berla in Bemetara district.

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