From now, school kids in Kerala to have lessons on drugs in their textbooks

A meeting of the curriculum steering committee was held recently and a meeting of various stakeholders is expected to be held on December 18 and 19
Representative Image
Representative Image

Stung by the rising substance abuse, the state government is planning to introduce anti-drug awareness as a part of school curricula among other suggestions put forward by the government for curricula revision. Excise Commissioner Rishiraj Singh said that the department has sent a formal proposal to consider anti-drugs awareness as a part of the student curricula from next school curriculum.

The office of the Education Minister has also confirmed that among other proposals forwarded to the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) which has been entrusted with the curriculum revision proceedings, the anti-drug awareness proposal was included. According to sources privy to the SCERT, the Centre has also suggested generating a content discouraging spitting in public spaces.

J Prasad, Director, SCERT, said the effort to bring a comprehensive makeover of the school curriculum has begun and a slew of proposals are under the consideration of the SCERT. A meeting of the curriculum steering committee was held recently and a meeting of various stakeholders is expected to be held on December 18 and 19.

There are also proposals to bring renaissance and Constitutional values into the textbooks of the schools than the existing lessons. Various focus groups to be formed as part of generating content suited for school curriculum revision will come up with content suited for students after extensive discussions and debate. Though the revised textbooks are slated to reach students from forthcoming academic year, it will take a couple of years to complete the exercise, said sources, adding the challenge lies on coming up with a content suited for all sections of the society.

According to Excise department officials, though the department has been holding extensive anti-drug campaign programmes by forming Anti-Narcotics Clubs in the schools and colleges across the state, it is very imperative to make the campaign as a part of the student curricula as inculcating values in young minds is more fruitful than any other means. The department has already formed 2761 Anti-Narcotics Clubs in school levels and 511 Clubs in college level.

The number of cases registered in the state in connection with the drug abuse in the state is a pointer to the rising influence of narcotics among the students. If 5012 narcotic cases were during the time of previous UDF government, the number has made a quantum jump during the present tenure of the government with excise officials registering as many 14,857 narcotic cases and 1,74,823 Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) cases.

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