All govt schools, PU colleges in Karnataka asked to hold 10-minute meditation sessions daily

Primary and secondary education minister of Karnataka B C Nagesh Thursday directed the education department to accommodate a 10-minute slot for a daily session of meditation at all schools and PU colleges.

In a letter issued to the principal secretary of the department of school education and literacy, Nagesh said daily meditation will help improve concentration and reduce mental stress among the children.

According to the minister, the letter came after it was suggested by the Karnataka State Primary School Teachers Association. In the letter, Nagesh said meditation will help to develop optimism, good habits and shape the students as responsible citizens.

While meditation sessions are already being conducted in some districts, it should be extended to all primary schools in the state, Nagesh said. “It is recommended to meditate on a daily basis. All schools and PU colleges must accommodate time for meditation,” he said in the letter.

Chandrashekhar Nugli, secretary of primary school teachers’ association, told the media that they are happy to implement it which can help students. “We have noticed a difference among the children who meditate. We wanted it to be extended to all the schools in Karnataka,” he added.

However, Niranjanaradhya V P, senior fellow, Centre for Child and the Law at National Law School of India University (NLSIU) and other noted writers and education experts, including prof S G Siddaramaiah and Kalegowda Nagawara, said it is a violation of Section 29 of Right to Education (RTE) Act.

In a statement, the experts said, “The teachers’ association does not have any right to hold meditation or other activities in the schools. It is also unfortunate that the education minister is taking academic decisions without consultations. Instead of thinking of providing quality education, the minister has taken the decision on his own to introduce it.”

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