For the first time in the history of the state, the revised school textbooks in Kerala will include the preamble to the Constitution of the country.
The CPI(M)-led Left Government has decided to incorporate the preamble into textbooks of class 1 to 10 as part of its efforts to instil constitutional values in the minds of children, official sources said here on Wednesday.
General Education Minister V Sivankutty, who is also the chairman of the State Curriculum Committee, announced the significant decision on Tuesday.
The State Curriculum Steering Committee recently approved 173 new textbooks for Classes I, III, V, VII and IX as part of the curriculum reforms implemented after a decade.
“It is the first time that the preamble of the Constitution is included and printed at the start of every textbook,” Sivankutty said.
The minister said the LDF government has made it clear since the beginning that the southern state would pursue reform activities upholding constitutional values.
Jayaprakash R K, the director of the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), said many NCERT textbooks already carry the preamble to the Constitution, but it is for the first time that Kerala is coming out with such an initiative.
SCERT is an autonomous body entrusted with the planning, implementation, and evaluation of all academic programmes from pre-school to higher secondary levels.
“The Preamble will be part of all the revised textbooks in the state. It will also be made a part of the teachers training. This will help both teachers and students understand the core of the Preamble to the Constitution,” he told PTI.
If the medium of the textbook is Malayalam, the preamble would be in Malayalam. It will be in Tamil in Tamil textbooks and in Hindi in Hindi textbooks, he said.
Asked about the reason for the government to make the preamble part of the school textbooks, he said the objective of the initiative is to create awareness about the significance of the Constitution among youngsters.
It is a time when the country is witnessing widespread discussions about the Constitution and its values, and the move would help the children understand its significance from a younger age.
Teachers would be given training to impart the meaning and message of the Constitution and its preamble to the children during the time of their teaching, the official further said.
Though it may be tough for the children to understand the concept of the Constitution in the lower classes, they will be able to understand its basics by the time they come to at least the fifth standard, the SCERT Director added.
Hailing the state government’s decision, senior Left Leader and former finance minister T M Thomas Isaac said it is the response of the state against attempts to “communalise education.”
“The revised school textbooks of Kerala will include Preamble to the Constitution. The curriculum will be gender sensitive. Lessons on Pocso rules, democratic and secular values and scientific temperament will be included. That’s our response to the attempts to communalise education,” he said in his handle on social media platform ‘X’.
According to General Education Department sources, the revised textbooks would reach students weeks before schools reopen for the next academic year.