NCERT includes chapter on National War Memorial in Class 7 English textbook
The decision was taken with an objective to inculcate the values of patriotism, devotion to duty and courage and sacrifice among school children and increase the participation of youth in nation building, according to a Defence Ministry statement
The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has included a chapter on the National War Memorial in Class 7 English textbook with an aim to inculcate the values of patriotism, devotion to duty and courage and sacrifice among school children, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement on Monday.
The chapter titled ‘A Homage to our Brave Soldiers’ is included as the last chapter in the book ‘Honeycomb’, according to the e-version of the book available on the Council’s website.
According to the defence ministry statement, the initiative has been jointly undertaken with the Ministry of Education, with an “objective to inculcate the values of patriotism, devotion to duty and courage and sacrifice among school children and increase the participation of youth in nation building.”
The chapter highlights the history, significance and concept of the National War Memorial, and also talks about the supreme sacrifice made by the bravehearts of the Armed Forces in the service of the nation post-Independence, it added.
In the chapter, two friends exchange letters and share their feelings of gratitude for the freedom they enjoy due to the sacrifices made by the bravehearts. The students in their letter mentioned that the memorial was“envisioned and then inaugurated by India’s Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in February 2019”.
In their letters, the students mention the names of many bravehearts including Lance Naik Albert Ekka, who died during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971, Major Padmapani Acharya, who fought for India in the 1999 Kargil War, Maha Vir Chakra awardee Captain Anuj Nayyar, and Major Somnath Sharma, who was posthumously awarded India’s first Param Veer Chakra, among others, and discuss their contributions and sacrifices.
Besides, the chapter discusses “Amar Jawan Jyoti” in detail. “The Amar Jawan Jyoti flame symbolises the immortality of the spirit of fallen soldiers with the assurance that the nation will never forget their sacrifice,” it says.
Sudha Acharya, principal of ITL Public School, Dwarka, said that schools are unaware about the inclusion of this new chapter.
“The chapter has been included in the e-version of the book available on NCERT website. We are not aware about the introduction of this chapter as yet. We are in the middle of the academic session and in fact in mid-September, majority of the schools have their half yearly examination. What was the need of adding a new chapter in the middle of the academic session?” she asked
Despite repeated attempts, NCERT director Dinesh Prasad Saklani did not respond to calls and messages sent for a comment.
A political controversy triggered after the removal of several topics from the NCERT textbooks during a syllabus “rationalisation” exercise it carried out in 2022 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Council removed several topics including passages on the theory of evolution, references to the Cold War, the Mughal courts, and industrial revolution, the 2002 Gujarat riots, the contribution of agriculture to the Indian economy, and a section on challenges to democracy from its textbooks.