Britain’s Gen Next to study India’s freedom struggle

gandhi-uk1In an ironic twist, Britain, which colonised India for centuries, is now going to expose its school children to the history of India’s freedom struggle.

If the new national curriculum for children, in the age group of 5-16 years, is approved by Parliament, British school children will get a chance to dive deeper into the evolution of India’s struggle to get rid of the colonial bondage.

The study of India’s freedom struggle is part of the larger plan to expose school children to defining moments in world history and the interconnections between different parts of the world. Prepared by Britain’s education department, the new curriculum is set to come into force from September 2014.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has struck an upbeat note on the new curriculum, saying it’s a “new chapter in British education”. He said, “From advanced fractions to computer coding to some of the greatest works of literature, this is a curriculum that is rigorous, engaging and tough. This is a curriculum to inspire a generation.”

With the globalised world becoming increasingly interconnected, Britain’s education department’s focus is on moulding the sensibilities of school children and equipping them with an enlarged map of the world.

Britain’s education secretary Michael Gove has underlined the need to extend the students’ spatial awareness of the different countries in the world with special focus on Africa, Russia, Asia (including China and India) and the Middle East, and in the process learn key physical and human characteristics and major cities in these countries. The new curriculum stresses on the need to teach children the “challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world from 1901 to the present day.”

School children will be taught “at least one significant society or issue in world history and its interconnections with other world developments.” The Mughal India (1526-1857) and China’s Qing dynasty (1644-1911) are some of the historical periods in this category.

“We have also revised the programmes of study for history. We have given teachers a greater level of flexibility over how to structure lessons and we have increased the coverage of world history,” said Gove.


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