From this academic year, students in Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) schools can study yoga and get marks for it.
The board has informed schools that they can offer yoga as an activity to primary (classes 1-8) and secondary (classes 9-10) students, making it part of their daily school routine from the 2016-17 academic year.
Last year, the government had courted controversy by asking schools to hold mass yoga programmes on International Yoga Day on June 21. Some states had also asked students to perform surya-namaskars.
Playing it safe this year, the education board, besides urging schools to mark Yoga Day this year as well, has also suggested ways in which schools can incorporate yoga in their internal activities schedule.
Joseph Emmanuel, secretary of the board, issued a circular on Wednesday stating that schools may include yoga as an activity for assessment under the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE).
The assessment or grades will also be depicted in the student’s annual report card.
Several city schools said that they would be willing to offer the subject but they did not have the infrastructure for it.
“Du r i n g mo n s o o n s we cannot have yoga outdoors and there is not much space available indoors for such large numbers of students,” said Ganesh Parmeshwaran, principal, Balbharti Public School, Airoli.
Some schools have already included yoga in their curriculum.
“We have compulsory yoga from Class 1 to 10, marks are awarded after Class 5,” said Deepshikha Srivastava, principal, Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri.
The board has also suggested that a common yoga protocol developed by the ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturotherapy, Unani, Siddhi and Homeopathy (AYUSH) must regularly be practiced by students starting from Class 6.
“This protocol has been designed in such a way that it requires minimum time to practice while ensuring maximum health benefits to an individual,” the circular stated.
Also, schools have been asked to send one yoga or physical education teacher for the ‘Certification Course’ being organised by the ministry of AYUSH in collaboration with the Quality Council of India.