Uttar Pradesh Sanskrit Sansthan said it plans to launch free “Sanskar Pathshalas [Value education centres]in villages and urban areas of the state to provide lessons in basic etiquette, moral education and Indian culture as well as basic knowledge and understanding of Sanskrit.
“As part of our UP Sanskrit Sansthan, we have planned to launch free lessons for children to provide better ‘sanskar’ from an early age. We plan to bring together children in urban and rural areas and give this kind of education along with a basic knowledge of Sanskrit. The plan was to start last year itself, but we weren’t able to do that due to the pandemic. We are even planning to expand this outside of Uttar Pradesh through online courses,” the head of the organization, Vachaspati Mishra, said on Monday.
Students enrolled in the “Chunnu Munnu Sanskrit Pathshalas [Sanskrit education centres for kids]will be taught, among other things, basic words, shlokas (Sanskrit verses), and stories in Sanskrit. They will receive lessons on the basics such as knowing colors, numbers, body parts and ways to present themselves.
Children will also learn values and manners, including how to touch their parents’ feet, give pranam (a respectful greeting), and respect elders, women, and country.
Classes are expected to start once the Covid-19 pandemic is over. By then, the organization expects to have trained about 1,000 teachers statewide.
“As part of the ‘sanskar’ classes, we plan to teach students our ‘Bhartiya Sanskar’, such as touching our parents’ feet, ‘pranam’, respecting our elders, respecting women and other basic etiquettes that are missing from the curriculum in private preschools. We will target children from very young age up to grade 5,” Mishra told The Indian Express.
He added, “We wanted to reach every village in the state. But we know that we cannot find that many teachers, even if we have enough government budgets. From now on, we are giving 15 days training to anyone who is a class 12 pass or a graduate and wants it. However, we give preference to those who had Sanskrit as a subject in their intermediate education and graduation. As the courses will be very simple, 15 days of training are more than enough. After this training, the person can join the Sanskar Shala as a teacher.
Asked about the infrastructure available to his organization, Mishra said the education centers would be more like the Sanskrit form of Anganwadi schools, which do not need separate infrastructure. Teachers can gather children and teach them at any location such as a temple or panchayat building, he added. Lessons will be taught like in kindergartens, and classes will last no longer than an hour, according to Mishra.