The education department of the Delhi government has allowed animal rights organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India to run its humane education programme ‘Compassionate Citizen’ in government schools.
The education department has issued a circular on this initiative after PETA India approached it in September 2021.
“Children have a natural affinity for animals, and this programme is designed to help them carry their compassion into adulthood,” says PETA India’s Associate Director of Education and Youth Outreach, Puja Mahajan.
‘Compassionate Citizen’ was developed for students between 8 to 12 years and consists of a teacher’s guide, reproducible activity sheets — including a colouring sheet and a kindness pledge that children can sign — a full colour wall poster, an engaging 23-minute video, and an insert listing easy ways by which teachers and schools can encourage students to help animals, said a release from PETA India.
The digital option is easy for teachers to use with students who are now learning online. The programme fits well into school curricula through language arts, science, social studies, environmental, and values-education subjects and can benefit animal rights and eco-clubs, it added.
Delhi government schools had held a similar view almost a decade ago. That view was endorsed by the Animal Welfare Board of India, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), and the education ministries/departments of Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Goa, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana apart from Delhi.
The revamped version (which includes worksheets that can be used digitally) has also been endorsed by the Haryana education department.
The programme has been used by more than 1.9 lakh schools, including private, public, international, CBSE-affiliated, KVS, and government schools in states and Union Territories mentioned above, reaching nearly 89.8 million children across India, the release said.