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Eye on jobs, Uttarakhand changes curriculum for Sanskrit schools

Lalmani Verma

Students of Sanskrit schools in Uttarakhand will now study Computer Science and Yoga. (File Photo)

Apart from traditional subjects such as astrology and vedas, students of Sanskrit schools in Uttarakhand will now study Computer Science and Yoga. The state government has made changes to the curriculum of Classes I to XII of these schools with an aim to skill students for more job avenues. Also, English, which was offered as an optional subject so far, can now be taken up as a compulsory subject.

Sanskrit is the second official language in Uttarakhand and the state government currently runs 97 Sanskrit schools, where an average of 2,100 students study every year.

According to officials, English was so far offered as an optional subject and marks scored in this subject were not added in the aggregate. But now, students can take English as a compulsory subject too. In that case, there will a 100-mark question paper for students in the annual examination and the marks scored in English will be added in the aggregate.

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Bid to make students job-ready

Unemployment being a major factor behind migration from Uttarakhand, the BJP-ruled state is trying to skill students in Sanskrit schools so that they can explore new job opportunities. With a large number of Sanskrit schools, Uttarakhand faces the challenge of creating work opportunities for students of these schools in the government sector. Officials said knowledge of English will improve students’ communication skills for interviews and knowledge of Yoga would enable them to benefit from the Centre’s push for Yoga. Adding these subjects would also attract those students who want to learn Sanskrit but avoid taking admission to Sanskrit schools fearing it might limit their job prospects.

Computer Science and Yoga will be compulsory subjects but students will get grades instead of marks in both subjects.

“Many Sanskrit students want to study English and Computer Science for better job opportunities. After completing graduation as a Shastri, Sanskrit students now apply for jobs as religious teachers in the defence forces and take competitive examinations for recruitment in civil services and teaching jobs. The knowledge of English will help them in getting jobs in journalism, law, hotel management, as translators and many other fields,” said S P Khali, Director, Sanskrit Education, Uttarakhand.

He said that when students have English as an optional subject, they do not study it seriously because marks scored in the subject are not added in the aggregate.

Khali said the new syllabus for English, Computer Science and Yoga has been approved by the government and it will be applicable from the new academic session that begins in April.

“For jobs in such fields, computer science will be helpful to the students. Yoga too is creating job opportunities for students across the world and knowledge of English and computers will help Yoga students to reach a larger number of people,” said another official.

For teaching these new courses, the Uttarakhand Sanskrit Shiksha Parishad is organising a training session for its existing teachers and it will recruit new faculty members in the new session. But knowledge of Sanskrit will be essential for those teachers.

Also, new subjects like Shashtrasmarnam (Upanishad) and Prachin Vyakarnam have been added to the syllabus.