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Friday, June 13, 2014

Educationist bats for compulsory subject on armed forces in schools

Dr M Srinivasan
By Anantha Krishnan M
Express News Service
Bangalore: A compulsory subject on Indian armed forces at high school level. Frequent interactions by soldiers, sailors and air warriors with schoolchildren. An yearly visit to one of the defence establishments or operational units. And, finally an aptitude test to measure the general knowledge levels of children with internal marks. These are some of the salient points of a proposal being readied by Bangalore-based educationist and chairman of GEAR Foundation and Group of Institutions Dr M Srinivasan.
To be forwarded to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), Union HRD Ministry and Ministry of Defence next week, Dr Srinivasan says that such a move will create inspiring leadership for Indian armed forces in future. "We as a nation mostly remember our soldiers only during national events. The knowledge levels among the general public about our armed forces are very poor. We often hear about the there's shortage of officers in our armed forces and the only way to bridge the gap is to inspire schoolchildren," Dr Srinivasan told Express on Wednesday. 
He said one comprehensive subject covering all the basic information about armed forces should be introduced either at Class VIII or Class IX. "The love for our armed forces skyrockets during Independence Day and Republic Day. A compulsory subject in Class VIII or Class IX will definitely make many youngsters look up to our armed forces as a career option. Frequent visits by various members of armed forces to schools for friendly interactions will definitely help the cause. They can even show some promotional films highlighting the technological advancements," says Dr Srinivasan, who is also the president of Managements of Independent CBSE Schools. 
When asked whether schools would find it difficult to accommodate a new subject with an already-packed syllabus, Dr Srinivasan said: "It's time that we looked at the bigger picture and started making some meaningful additions to our curriculum. I am only preparing an idea that can be debated and if found fit, implemented. Even if the schools find it tough initially, it will be nothing in front of the sacrifices being made by our armed forces." 
The educationist said that his proposal is currently being vetted by a few serving and retired officers. "By next week, I will have it ready to be forwarded to the central government. I will be happy to assist the government in formulating the syllabus if the idea gets a green signal. I don't need any credit if the idea gets the nod. I hope Prime Minister Narendra Modi will find time to study the proposal," he said. 
Reacting to Dr Srinivasan's proposal, Maj Gen (retd) K S Venugopal, former GOC, Karnataka & Kerala Sub Area, said that the Indian Army will certainly back such a move. "We have been demanding for a long time that we should tap the talent in schools. Through NCC we are doing our bit, but to have a full-fledged subject in school is a noble and great idea. We are often faced with the lack of awareness about our armed forces and having a subject in school would certainly help. To start with, such a move will bring our soldiers closer to the hearts of our schoolchildren," Venugopal said. 
Copyright@The New Indian Express
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