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Reading Preamble made mandatory in Maharashtra schools from Jan 26

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday directed all schools in the state to start daily group readings of the preamble of the Constitution of India by students. The schools have been told to start the exercise from January 26 — Republic Day.

In a circular that was issued on Tuesday, the school education department said the aim of the exercise was to make students aware of the core values of the Constitution .

This is not the first time schools have been asked to start preamble reading. In February 2013, the then Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government had issued the same order.

“If the students get to know properly about the Constitution, then it will help us in creating responsible, intelligent and cultured citizens. Considering this, schools were directed to start reading preamble of the Constitution on a daily basis on February 2013. However, it has come to light that the order is not being followed by schools. The schools have been directed to take up an initiative named ‘Sovereignty of the Constitution in the Public Interest’ — and start group reading of the preamble of the Constitution on a daily basis,” stated Tuesday’s order.

According to the school education department, the inclusiveness, principles, liberty, justice, and equality promoted by the Constitution should be engraved in the minds of the society for which it need to be thoroughly imbibed in the students.

The government has also directed the commissioner (education) to review its implementation on regular basis.

The school education department has also directed all the schools to ask students to take an environment-protection oath on January 22. The oath will be taken by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, along with other dignitaries, at Mantralaya, the state secretariat, at 10.30am on January 22. School administrations have been directed to conduct a similar oath-taking programme at the same time in their respective schools.

The country accepted Constitution on November 26, 1949 and the day is marked as Constitution Day. The constitution came in to effect on January 26, 1950.

School education minister Varsha Gaikwad said that just like morning prayers, students will have to read the Constitution preamble. “This will help students memorise the core values and rights of the Constitution forever and follow the same,” Gaikwad said.

Prashant Redij, spokesperson of the Mumbai Principals Association, and the principal of Hilda Castelino High School in Malad, said that it is a good move. “With this, students will understand the significance of the Constitution and the values enshrined in it. This should be followed by all schools irrespective of the medium and board,” he added.

Anjali Shinde, a teacher from a Chembur-based school, said the government should also conduct routine checks to see if the policy is followed. “There was a 2013 government resolution (GR) asking schools to follow this, but most schools seem to have ignored it. There needs to be strict action against schools that do not follow the guideline,” she added.

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