Every child in Delhi will be a patriot in the true sense, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal exuded as he launched the AAP government’s ambitious ”Deshbhakti Curriculum” on Tuesday.
At the launch event held at Chhatrasal Stadium on the birth anniversary of revolutionary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh, the chief minister remarked that nowadays people feel patriotic only while raising the Tricolour or singing the national anthem.
But patriotism has to be a continually evolving feeling within everyone, he said.
“In the last 74 years, we taught physics, chemistry and maths in our schools but did not teach ”deshbhakti” to the children. Patriotism is within all of us but it needs a push. Every child in Delhi will be a patriot in the truest sense. The ”Deshbhakti Curriculum” will prove to be instrumental in the country’s development and will take India forward rapidly.”
“Today we only feel patriotic while raising the Tricolour or singing the national anthem. The problem is it only props up when we do something of this sort,” Mr Kejriwal said.
Raising the slogans ”Bharat Mata ki Jai”, ”Inquilab Zindabad” and ”Vande Matram”, the chief minister said, “We need to develop an environment wherein we all and our children constantly feel patriotic at every step we take. Patriotism has to be a continually evolving feeling within all of us.”
Mr Kejriwal said all kinds of professionals are coming up ”deshbhakt professionals” are not being developed.
“It doesn’t mean we won’t promote professions. We will continue to support all kinds of education but we will add a touch of patriotic values to them. We will develop ”deshbhakt” doctors, lawyers, engineers, actors, singers, artists, journalists and so on.
“A ”deshbhakt” doctor would look to help maximum people and not just collect the highest fees. ”Deshbhakt” professionals would return from work thinking how they can further contribute to society and not how to rake in more money from under the table. A patriotic officer won’t think about bribes but about clearing the most number of files to help the people,” he said.
The ”Deshbhakti Curriculum” will be rolled out from nursery to Class 12 as and when schools reopen for the respective grades. The curriculum won’t have any textbooks.
Facilitator’s handbooks have been designed for three cohorts — nursery to class five; classes six to eight and classes nine to 12 — and these will be used to inculcate patriotism among the students through simple activities.
The facilitator’s handbooks for two cohorts — classes 6 to 8 and 9-12 — and 100 stories of freedom fighters and patriots were also unveiled at the launch event.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, “We talk about Bhagat Singh, Hemu Kalani, Jhansi Ki Rani and Tantia Tope’s battles but we never discuss what led them onto the battles, how they fought those battles.”
The ”Deshbhakti Curriculum” will bridge this knowledge gap, he said, while underlining that the students will not be asked to memorise historical facts and the curriculum will not preach moral values.
“It will not just talk about patriotism, but inculcate a passion for it. It will not preach moral values. We will not expect students to memorise historical facts, but will expect them to retrospect about their patriotism,” Mr Sisodia said.
Knowing that Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life at 23 years and comparing themselves at that age, students will introspect about that level of commitment, passion, and embody it, he said.
“We should learn how Babasaheb (Ambedkar) surpassed the definitions of political independence and vowed for social and mental independence and how he laid a strong constitution for us.”
“We will teach the children the importance of this struggle and make sure they realize what it was like to experience such disparities. We will include 100 stories every year in this curriculum,” he said.
According to officials, the topics include taking responsibility towards the country and its progress, constructive criticism, respect for and harmonious coexistence with others, critically thinking about issues confronting the country, comprehensive conception of patriotism, linking patriotism to the lived realities and everyday actions of students and working for the country’s development with pride and honesty.
Some of the chapters are: ”My India is glorious but why not developed”, ”Deshbhakti: My country my pride”, ”Who is a Deshbhakt” and ”India of my dreams.”
The teaching method would be activities-based such as maintaining a ”Deshbhakti diary”, participating in ”Deshbhakti dhyan”, ”Flag day” activity and group discussion, among others.
Mr Sisodia said that every class would begin with a ”Deshbhakti Dhyan” of five minutes where students will talk about five new patriots each day.
“Since this is the first year (of the curriculum) and we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of Independence, we are including 100 patriots.”
“Next year onwards, we will include 100 more and then another hundred after that. This would go on and on. Right from nursery to class 12, a child will be able to witness at least 700-800 stories and 500-600 patriotic songs and poems,” he said.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced the plan for Deshbhakti Curriculum on the 73rd Independence Day celebrations in 2019. The curriculum has been prepared by the Delhi Government school teachers, with inputs from NGO partners and experts.