The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) will introduce its new curriculum on ancient Indian knowledge and heritage at 100 madarassas as part of the National Education Policy (NEP).
The NIOS, an autonomous institute under the education ministry, will start a basic course for classes 3, 5 and 8. “We are starting with 100 madarsas and will extend the programme to 500 in future,” NIOS chairman Saroj Sharma said.
NIOS has prepared 15 courses on the ‘Bharatiya Jnana Parampara’ (Indian knowledge tradition) that includes veda, yoga, science, vocational skills, Sanskrit language, Ramayan epic narratives, Bhagvad Gita teachings and the Panini-propounded Maheshwara Sutras, among others. These courses are equivalent to classes 3, 5, and 8 of elementary education.
Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, who released the study material at the NIOS national headquarters in Noida on Tuesday, said, “India is a powerhouse of an ancient language, science, arts and culture, and the country is poised to become a knowledge superpower with the revival of its ancient heritage. We will extend the benefit of these courses to madrassas and also to the Indian community around the world at large.”
NIOS is one of the two national boards that conducts courses through open and distance education at primary, secondary and senior secondary levels. The NIOS curriculum is on a par with those that national and state boards follow.
The course material on yoga has sections of patanjali kritasutra, yogasutra exercises, surya namaskar, asanas, pranayam, relaxation exercises, anger management exercises and concentration and memory enhancement exercises.
The vocational skills curriculum covers watering plants, cow-rearing, cleaning of cowsheds and hygiene, garden care, sewing and harvesting, vegetable service, organic farming, etc. In addition, skills such as making beds, constructing biometrics for farms, using Ayurveda in daily life, methods of cooking and serving have also been included.
Science includes topics like water, air, vegetation and land conservation in the vedas, origin of creation, panchamabhut, earth and natural resources. “The New Education Policy, 2020 also emphasises the creation of a sense of pride towards Indianness in the learner’s inner self,” Pokhriyal said.
Shoiab Raza Khan, assistant director (academic) NIOS, said, “The curriculum will be available for all and figure among other subjects. In an open education system, students are free to choose, so it is not a compulsory component. There is a gamut of subjects in our open education system that madarsa students can pick. It is a matter of their choice.”