Nepal on Tuesday decided to make yoga class compulsory for schoolchildren, a move that aims to promote mindfulness and good health but which has been met with some criticism.
Nath Paudel, the chief of Nepal’s Curriculum Development Centre, CDC, said that his office had already prepared a curriculum for yoga which would come into effect from the upcoming academic calendar beginning on April.
“The curriculum will be out in the next few days, but it might take a year or even longer before it’s fully implemented,’’ Paudel told dpa.
Mr Paudel said that the nature of yoga courses would be different depending on the grades.
According to him, students studying in grade 9 to 12 will have few chapters on yoga in their regular textbooks.
“They can also choose it as an optional subject if they want to specialise on it.
“For the lower grades, yoga would be integrated as a major component of various compulsory subjects like Health and Education Studies.
“The students will have to both read and practice Yoga,’’ Mr Paudel added.
The decision to include yoga in school education has drawn criticism from some quarters, including religious minorities who see yoga as a borrowing from scriptures of Hinduism.
Deepak Sharma, a spokesperson of Nepal’s Ministry of Education, told dpa that his ministry decided to include Yoga in school education due to its immense health benefits to students and teachers.
“Yoga has benefits on mental and physical well-being of the students.
“It’s pointless to criticise as the United Nations itself has started celebrating the International Yoga Day,” Sharma said.