Next academic year, students should prepare to be educated on traffic sense, and those in higher standards can expect a chapter in their books on civic sense and the ill effects of consuming alcohol. The education department has been considering implementing the change after receiving letters of request from education activists seeking to include lessons in the syllabus for students to bring about awareness.
“What we perceive is that children are not aware of their basic rights and laws and due to lack of civic sense, children drift toward anti-social activities that include smoking, drinking and theft. There have been many instances, where children get entwined in complicated situations, as they don’t know the rules and laws,” said Jayant Jain, president of Forum for Fairness in Education.
The lessons for students from Std VIII to X will discuss criminal acts and other issues in detail, creating awareness among children and educating them on how to deal or avoid certain situations or what steps to take in the eventuality of encountering eve-teasers or burglars.
“The children should know how to deal with circumstances when they are called for questioning by the police, and how to avoid being exploited by them,” Jain said taking cue from the incident that happened about 7 years ago where a constable- Sunil More- had detained a young student and had raped her repeatedly in Mumbai.
Children will be taught about basic civic responsibilities like discipline, government laws, public health issues, including the importance of keeping their surroundings clean and green and avoiding smoking in public places.
According to sources, the department has received letters from activists, who have been campaigning for inclusion of chapters on tobacco, to also include lessons on the ill effects of alcohol in textbooks.
“Earlier the rules entailed that liquor shops should be at a distance of no less than 500 metres away from any educational institutions, but the rule was later changed to 100 meters. There has been an increase in drunken driving cases wherein hordes of youngsters are caught driving under the influence of alcohol everyday. They need to know what can happen if they drink and drive and its consequences,” said education activist Roshan Kalra.
In January last year, Home Minister R R Patil announced that traffic lessons would soon be a part of the school syllabus to inculcate traffic sense in students, since around 12,000 people die each year while 25,000 are injured in the state in road accidents.