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Karnataka Govt Mandates 10 Minutes of 'Dhyana' in Schools, PU Colleges, Faces Flak

By: Education and Careers Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: November 03, 2022, 10:53 IST

Karnataka, India

10 minutes of dhyan mandated in Karnataka schools, PUC colleges (Representational Image)

10 minutes of dhyan mandated in Karnataka schools, PUC colleges (Representational Image)

Various student unions up in arms are calling this decision of the Education Minister an introduction of another religious element.

Karnataka Education Minister directed the department to introduce 10 minutes of ‘dhyana’ (meditation) in schools and PU colleges to help students increase their concentration.

The direction from the Education Minister BC Nagesh has drawn flak as educationists are calling it an arbitrary decision. Educationists alleged that as per Section 29 (1) of The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009, only the Competent authority, the Department of State Education Research and Training, can prescribe such activities in educational institutions.

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On the other hand, various student unions up in arms are calling this decision of the Education Minister an introduction of another religious element.

The allegations of religious imposition in Karnataka schools are not new. Earlier, Education Minister BC Nagesh had said that Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu scripture, will be taught in schools across the state to impart “moral education" among kids. Nagesh has been arguing for the cause of teaching the Gita in school since the Gujarat state government introduced the same in its school syllabus for classes 6 to 8. He also said earlier that Gita is “not only for Hindus but for all" as it gives life lessons.

In contrast to this when a Bengaluru-based school asked students to carry Bible, a Christian religious book, to school, Karnataka Govt asked all block education officers to visit Christian institutions and carry out inspections. “The syllabus being taught at all Christian institutions will be inspected," Nagesh had said.

The state government had also introduced ‘Vedic mathematics’ for SC/ST children studying classes 5-8 in one district. This too had faced backlash.

This time, Nagesh suggested that the decision to introduce dhyana (meditation) is taken after students were found to be distracted easily after the pandemic. During the pandemic, students were studying online using mobile phones, laptops etc causing high screen time. In a notice, Nagesh said, “It is necessary to make students meditate every day to reduce physical and mental stress, and help them improve concentration and health.” He said that meditation was already being practiced in some schools and the order will expand and streamline those practices.

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first published:November 03, 2022, 10:35 IST
last updated:November 03, 2022, 10:53 IST
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