Indian Education Reform: Yoga, Sports to be a Part of Curriculum

It says a lot about our society when a balanced diet is a more popular topic of conversation and concern than a balanced education system. If MHRD’s latest guidelines are anything to go by, the Indian education system is about to change.

As per the MHRD, yoga, and sports will soon be a part of the Indian school’s curriculum. This follows on close heels to the NCERT’s syllabus revisions and the National Education Policy (NEP) reforms.

National Education Policy

The MHRD aims to ensure holistic development for students and thereby the inclusion of sports, vocational crafts and yoga along with academics are being sought. A possible system is in the pipeline where sports could be allocated marks as is the case with academics. This follows as per a discussion that took place with NCERT, CBSE, and a few other stakeholders at a recent workshop.

“The segregation of curriculum into academics and sports, or extracurricular, leads to academics being given more importance over, for instance, sports. Parents too, often encourage their children to focus on academics. We want to change that and ensure the holistic development of students,” said one of the HRD ministry officials.

This view has received a thumbs-up from experts including former Olympian, Union Sports Minister Mr. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. At the recently concluded CABE meeting, he echoed the need for placing extra-curricular activities like sports and yoga on par with academics in the Indian education system.

A 9-member panel headed by former ISRO supremo, K Kasturirangan is in-charge for the NEP framework formulation. The draft for the same would be submitted to the MHRD for review by the 31st of March.

India needs to have a comprehensive relook at its education sector to prepare its youth which comprises over 50 percent of the 1.3 billion population for the future, educationists and experts have suggested. Speaking at the sixth Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) in Dubai, the experts called for a shift in the policy to meet the challenges of the changing times.

Ms. Shashi Jain, Principal, Vanasthali Public School Delhi
Ms. Shashi Jain, Principal, Vanasthali Public School Delhi

“As an educationist, as well as a person I have always resonated with the concept of multi-dimensional development of a child. Engagement with co-curricular activities, sports and yoga is not only beneficial in terms of a holistic student development but is also valued and acknowledged during determining the employability quotient. These activities have been conducive in contriving physical, social, intellectual, moral as well as spiritual development of an individual. New age employers are rigorously looking for candidates who are able to strike an apt balance between their physical, mental and spiritual health.”

Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet, one of the country’s most respected educational institutions, treats Sports, Yoga and other co-curricular activities as equally important as say, subjects like Chemistry and English.

Mr. Skand Bali, Principal,The Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet
Mr. Skand Bali, Principal,The Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet

“We give equal importance and weightage to sports and co-curricular activities in HPS, Begumpet. Sports and Yoga is an integral part of our curriculum. We make sure that there is an opportunity for each child to excel in whatever he or she likes. Our school aims to provide holistic education, facilitating students to achieve their optimum potential and equipping them to meet the challenges of life with a passion for continuous learning.” 

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