Kejriwal and Sisodia at the booklet launch, Friday. (Express photo: Amit Mehra)
Students of Delhi government schools will now be taught about the life, contribution and ideas of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar — from his experiences of casteism during his early years to his ideas on parliamentary democracy.
This was announced by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the launch of a booklet for the purpose on the occasion of Ambedkar’s 63rd death anniversary.
The booklet was prepared by the government’s social welfare department with the aid of three Delhi University academics — Mani Sagar, who teaches at Shaheed Bhagat Singh (Evening) College; Shashi Rani, a teacher at the department of social work; and N Sukumar, who teaches at the political science department.
Lessons from the booklet are to be taught to students of classes VI-VIII. Class VI students will learn about Ambedkar’s early life and education, class VII students will learn about his ideas and contribution to social and gender justice, while those in class VIII will learn about his ideas and contributions to parliamentary democracy and government.
At the launch, Kejriwal expressed hope that private schools will also include it in their curriculum.
“He was born in a village to a poor Dalit family, and faced untouchability and discrimination throughout his life. Back then, it was very difficult for even children of rich families to complete their education. But Babasaheb Ambedkar attained two doctoral degrees, one from Columbia University and the other from London School of Economics. It would be an honour to teach our students about how he, despite many obstacles, climbed the ladder of success,” he said.
Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said, “A few days ago, we expressed our desire to inculcate patriotism in our students. I believe this booklet is the first step towards our effort. Babasaheb’s efforts enabled Indians from different cultures, religions, and regions to be united as one nation tied to the fundamentals of our Constitution.” He said the government will refine the content taught over the next few years through feedback to develop a new curriculum in their schools.