Religious books can’t be part of school curriculum, says B C Nagesh
Mangaluru: Minister for Primary and Secondary Education and Sakala B C Nagesh said that religious practices and religious books cannot be introduced into the curriculum of the schools which are registered under the Karnataka Education Act.
Speaking to reporters in Mangaluru, he stated that all students irrespective of their religion, learn about great personalities such as Jesus, Swami Vivekananda and others as a part of the curriculum. However, if religious classes such as catechism are conducted in the schools, it is against the regulations of KEA.
The government will not interfere in the administration of the schools and colleges run by minority institutions. The educational institutions do have their freedom in administration but not in making changes in the curriculum when they are registered under Karnataka Education Act. They have to comply with the KEA regulations, irrespective of the fact that they are minority institutions or not.
In the aftermath of complaints received against institutions which have made it compulsory to carry the Bible for school prayers, the Block Education Officers have been asked to look into it. Biblical Education cannot be imposed on the students. In fact, the website of an institution has clearly stated that only those who believe in Bible are welcome to their school.
B C Nagesh stated that religious books cannot be in the syllabi. He meanwhile stated that Bible and Quran are religious books and Bhagavadgita is not a mere religious book. One cannot compare Bhagavadgita to any other religious book. Gita speaks about the values and life and not about religious practices. One cannot find references to religious practices in Gita. Whereas, Bible says that to be a Christian, one has to believe in Bible. Gita has no such comments.
He meanwhile clarified that he has never said that measures will be taken to revise the syllabus of educational institutions run by Christian minorities.
To another query, the minister stated that in the third wave we tried to conduct schools as in many other states. ‘Kalika Chetarike’ has been introduced where the classes are reopened 15 days earlier. We have already faced the three waves of the pandemic and are confident of handling the fourth wave as well. Covid-19 is a preventive disease and therefore, can be prevented with necessary precautions. Experts have said that the fourth wave will hit in the months of July-August. However, the government will assess the situation and make a decision, he added.