THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Stung by rising cases of substance abuse, the state government has plans to include anti-drug awareness in the proposed revision of school curricula. This is among other suggestions put forward by the government for curricula revision. Excise Commissioner Rishiraj Singh told Express that the Department has sent a formal proposal to consider anti-drugs awareness as a part of the student curricula from next school curriculum. The Education Minister’s office has also confirmed that anti-drug awareness proposal has also been included among other proposals forwarded to the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT), which has been entrusted with the curriculum revision proceedings.
According to SCERT sources, the Centre has also suggested generating a content discouraging spitting in public spaces. SCERT Director J Prasad said the effort to bring a comprehensive makeover in school curriculum has begun and a slew of proposals are under the consideration of the SCERT. A meeting of the curriculum steering committee was held recently.
A meeting of various stakeholders is expected to be held on December 18 and 19. There are also proposals to include renaissance and Constitutional values in school textbooks. Various focus groups, tasked with the duty of generating content tailored for school curriculum revision, will come up with suitable content after extensive discussions and debate.
Though the revised textbooks are slated to reach students from the forthcoming academic year, it will take a couple of years to complete the exercise, said sources, adding that the challenge lies in coming up with a content suited for all sections of the society.
According to the Excise Department officials, though the department has been conducting extensive anti-drug campaigns by forming anti-narcotics cubs at schools and colleges across the state, it is very imperative to make the campaign as a part of the student curricula as inculcating values in young minds is more fruitful than any other means. The Department has already formed 2761 anti-narcotics clubs at school levels and 511 cubs at college level.
The number of cases registered in the state in connection with drug abuse is a pointer to the rising influence of narcotics among students. If 5012 narcotic cases were registered during the previous UDF government’s tenure, it has made a quantum jump during the tenure of the present government with excise officials registering as many 14,857 narcotic cases and 1,74,823 Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) cases.