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NCERT wants yoga to be must in schools

Students, get ready to do some asanas as the government is bent on teaching you yoga. The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 has broad-based guidelines for physical education and elucidates the importance of including yoga as a compulsory subject. This will be implemented in schools soon.

Talking from New Delhi, Saroj Yadav, coordinator for health and physical education, NCERT, said yoga will now be made an integral part of physical education. ‘‘So far, yoga was not taught independently. Now, it will be done so and it’s compulsory for all states. We’re ready with the syllabus and teacher guide. We’re preparing the textbook. It should be implemented holistically from Class VI onwards,’’ she said.

But G Ravindra, joint director, NCERT, is not convinced. He said the syllabus was complete but the textbook was a problem. ‘‘Physical education is practical-oriented. If we were to list all its methods, textbooks will be very bulky. And like art and aesthetics, it needs a different kind of evaluation. Arriving at a scientific method of evaluation is difficult. And because of these hurdles, implementation may take time,’’ said Ravindra.

Yoga has been an integral part of physical education up to the secondary school stage since 1988. In fact, most CBSE schools in Bangalore already teach yoga. Kendriya Vidyalayas have a competent teacher to demonstrate different asanas — these are practised during assembly.

‘‘Though we don’t have an exclusive yoga teacher in all KVs, our PT teachers are well trained in yoga. They demonstrate a few asanas during assembly and students learn from them. This is for all classes and we’ve been practising it for many years,’’ said KV Hebbal principal C Karunakaran.

Sindhi High School, too, has a similar practice. Mahalakshmi Vijayanand, principal, said during assembly, there is a 10-minute demonstration — students learn once a week. ‘‘There are no separate yoga classes. All students from Class I onwards practise it. So far, we’ve had no complaints from parents or students. They’ve accepted it as part of the curriculum,’’ she said.

For now, the practice of yoga has been quite arbitrary. If the schools want it, they can have it. But now, the ministry of HRD wants it to be implemented by the next academic year as a separate compulsory subject.

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