As per a notification issued on Tuesday by the Deputy Commissioner of Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan to all its establishments across the country, a humane-education programme called ‘Compassionate Citizen’ by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is to be included in the official school curriculum to teach children compassion and kindness towards animals. The move to induct the course in over 1,000 Kendriya Vidyalaya schools was made after a meeting with a representative of PETA India, and has even been welcomed and supported by the Animal Welfare Board of India as well as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
Educational material and related resources for the Compassionate Citizen course, designed to target children aged 8 to 12, have been distributed by PETA to school in English and Hindi. As stated by PETA India in a release, the materials include 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.” It is further noted that the programme is to be part of the monthly curriculum as an extracurricular day activity or a day-long 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.”
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The course has been provided free of cost to inculcate respect for animals and nature, and to impart value for animal life at a young age at a time when horrific cases of animal abuse flash on our screens and newspapers almost on a daily basis. Not just that, plenty of teachers, psychologists and police officials have also pointed out that violence towards animals at a young age can seriously affect a person’s personality formation and can often be a foreshadow of violence and aggression towards people later on in life.
PETA India states that the programme is available in English, Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati and Malayalam, and can be made available in other regional and local languages if asked. “PETA India is helping schools across the country cultivate compassion in the classroom,” states Poorva Joshipura, CEO of PETA India. “Humane education empowers children to build a future in which animals, humans and the environment they live in are treated with dignity and respect.”
Click here to read PETA India’s full statement.