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Irani backs NCERT

New Delhi, July 30: Smriti Irani does not seem to share the opinion of RSS ideologues that NCERT textbooks do not focus adequately on value education.

The Union HRD minister today said the NCERT had developed and disseminated material on value education, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha to queries raised by Shiv Sena MPs Shrirang Appa Barne and Adhalrao Patil Shivajirao,

“The NCERT recommends implementing education for peace as an integrated and holistic intervention to complement education. The NCERT has brought out a publication, Value in Schools: A Framework, in 2012.

“The NCERT has interwoven values of peace in the content and incorporated them in guidelines for teachers and teacher educators,” she said.

But RSS ideologues are not convinced. Dina Nath Batra told The Telegraph that NCERT books do not teach moral values that can make children love the country and serve society.

“Ancient scriptures have so many stories loaded with moral values. Gita, Mahabharat, Ramayan, Vedas and Upanishads are sources of value. But the NCERT does not have anything on value,” he said.

Batra’s organisation, Siksha Sanskriti Uthaan Nyas, has embarked on a project for education reform. It has set up the Bharatiya Siksha Niti Ayog, a committee of about 20 experts, to discuss and prepare the road map. Batra heads the panel.

N.S. Rawat, a member, said the panel had begun talks with stakeholders.

“The present system does not inculcate essential values, so children do not bother about society, neighbourhood. Youths think that western countries generate knowledge, which is not true,” Rawat said.

But Smriti said the National Curriculum Framework 2005, prepared by NCERT, highlights value-based education. The framework lists guidelines on what the content in textbooks should be.

“As implementation of school education is mainly in the domain of state governments, the incorporation of NCF 2005, value education guidelines of NCERT and gender sensitivity aspects, have been done at their instance in state curriculum textbooks and teacher training modules,” she said.