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Modules to teach constitutional values released
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Mumbai, Jun. 13. New Delhi: The Office for Education and Culture under the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India on June 11 released a 9-page module to teach the Preamble of the Indian Constitution in Church-managed schools.
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''The CBCI Office for Education and Culture in fact has been directing the educational institutions to teach Constitutional Values to students all the while to foster true patriotism, National Integration and love for the Country,'' says Salesian Father Jose Manipadam, national secretary of the office, who has circulated the module among bishops and heads of the Church educational institutions in the country.

The move is part of the Church's efforts to help teach young generations the constitutional values.

The module is circulated two days after an archbishop in Kerala stressed the need for Christian schools to teach the Constitution. ''Everyone should actively work for ensuring the secular values promised by the Constitution,'' said Archbishop Maria Calist Soosa Pakiam of Trivandrum, president of the Catholic Bishops' Council.

The prelate termed as ''highly dangerous'' attempts by some vested interests to invoke hatred and fear among various groups as a shortcut to power. ''Learned community and political leaders should come together against such practices,'' Archbishop Pakiam added.

Father Manipadam says he felt encouraged to take the initiative after a number of bishops requested his office for help in inculcating the values of the Constitution in young people.

The Salesian's circular is accompanied by the ''lesson plans teaching the Indian Constitution'' and a ''My India Pledge.''

The priest suggests that the pledge be recited during assemblies in colleges and colleges to inculcate true patriotism.

The module on the Preamble was prepared by Father Sunny Jacob, secretary of the Jesuit Educational Association of South Asia, in 2016 to be taught in their schools in the first half of that academic year (July-November). It guides a detailed study of the 85-word Preamble in four stages.

In the first stage, the students are encouraged to memorize the preamble, use it in assembly for a month, recite in primary classes and prepare speeches with marks in the secondary classes.

The second stage stresses the significance of the preamble and suggests as activities group discussions, quiz contests, essay writing and poster competition.

The enacting words, ''We the people of India,' is the focus of the third stage. It wants students to stage skits and small dramas on celebrating unity in diversity through various examples. It wants to drill in the importance of ''We feeling'' or '' We Indians'' to check divisiveness. In this stage, senior students are encourage to give to talk to juniors on the inclusivity.

In the fourth stage, the students familiarize with key words in the preamble: sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic and republic. The Constitution promises justice, liberty, equality and fraternity to all the citizens without discrimination. The module wants senior students to review how far has the country achieved these ideals and find out the roadblocks.


THARAKAN John India Pithapuram
June 14, 2018

Congratulations. A great move. Can copies be made available, including in PDF so that we can use it as part of the Human Rights Education in our network.

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