NEW DELHI: The Election Commission wants students to learn from the secondary school level how to become responsible voters.
In a bid to educate 15 to 17-year-old ‘future voters’, who would enroll as voters when they turn 18, the Election Commission has asked the Union HRD Ministry to introduce ‘electoral literacy’ in the curriculum at the secondary school level.
And till the time the subject becomes part of the curriculum, the Commission has asked the HRD Ministry to ask the NCERT to bring out a booklet on elections and electoral process “that may be included in the list of supplementary reading material for schools at appropriate level”.
Last July, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Nasim Zaidi had written to HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar requesting him to include ‘electoral literacy’ in the curriculum.
“It is felt that introducing electoral literacy curriculum in a systematic manner will go a long way in strengthening electoral literacy. Therefore, EC proposes that the same may be included in the curricula and as co-curricular in schools at secondary level and if required even at higher levels,” Zaidi wrote to Javadekar.
In August, Javadekar responded saying the poll panel’s request was examined in consultation with NCERT which prepares the National School Curriculum Framework for the country.
“The current textbook materials of the NCERT are based on National Curriculum Framework, 2005. The suggestion of the Election Commission will be taken into account when NCERT takes up next revision of the curriculum. I would like to inform you that at present the ministry is engaged in the process of preparation of a New Education Policy,” Javadekar said.
He also said existing Political Science textbooks prepared by the NCERT have many details about the electoral process.
In India, over 62 million persons fall in the age group of 15 to 17 years and have been described as ‘future voters’ by the Election Commission.