Kids to learn hill state history

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  • Published 6.10.03

Gangtok, Oct 6: Not much of Sikkim’s history prior to the 16th century has been recorded. This, however, will not deter the state from imparting lessons on its glorious past to school students from 2004.

The decision to introduce the state’s history into the curriculum was reached at an educational conference of heads of senior secondary schools and secondary schools held at the Chintan Bhavan last week.

The meet, aimed at discussing ways to improve the education system, passed several resolutions of which this decision was considered to be the most important.

Sikkim’s history would be introduced as a chapter in the social studies textbook of Class III. It would later be incorporated in the syllabus for higher classes.

M.P. Kharel, a historian and lecturer at Sikkim Government College, Tadong, started work on preparing the syllabus a year ago.

“It was during a meeting with the chief minister last year that the topic came up and I realised he was interested in introducing chapters on Sikkimese history in the syllabi here,” said Kharel.

Ably equipped to research and prepare a textbook on Sikkim’s history, Dr. Kharel was further entrusted by the state education department to proceed with the project in February this year. The syllabus was framed in April and approved in July. The chapters are now ready and awaiting photographs to go along with the text.

The history of Sikkim available today is limited to the consecration of the first Chogyal in Yuksom during the 16th century and his lineage thereafter till the present day. There is, however,very little record of other historical events during this period.

Much of Sikkim’s known history has been recorded by the British, who showed interest in the affairs of Sikkim during the colonial years. The earliest one can go back in terms of history is the 8th century, when Guru Padma Sambhava, the Buddhist saint, traversed through Sikkim on his way to Tibet. The other important historical event is the signing of the blood brotherhood between Lepcha Chief Thekong Thek and Bhutia chieftan Khye Bhumsa at Kabi Longtshok in the 13th century.