State-run Kendriya Vidyalayas across the country will now include “Compassionate Citizen” in their curriculum – a humane education programme designed to teach children to be kind to animals. The Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan has issued a notification to all its schools, saying that they should integrate the programme, prepared by animal rights advocacy group People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), into the official curriculum via languages, science, social studies, environmental and value education curricula.
In a report by NDTV, Compassionate Citizen is designed to teach 8 to 12-year-old children to be kind to animals and has been endorsed by the Animal Welfare Board of India and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). “The programme offers tools and lesson plans to teach children to view animals as feeling, sensitive beings. It consists of a teacher’s guide, reproducible activity sheets, a reading unit and a 28-minute video — all devised to help students use their reading and reasoning skills to examine the complex lives of animals, how our relationship with them has changed over time and how to respond when animals are in trouble,” an official statement said.
“The programme has to be included in the monthly curriculum as an extra-curricular day activity or a one-day workshop. The course has been divided into four different sections — The amazing world of animals, Animals and their feelings, Changing Time and Changing Minds and Making Humane Choices,” it added.
The notification came after a meeting between representatives from PETA and KVS officials. “PETA has distributed the educational resource materials in English and Hindi to all Kendriya Vidyalaya schools. The programme is available in English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Malayalam and Telugu and can be made available in other languages, if needed,” said PETA India CEO, Poorva Joshipura.