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A group of Hindus in Alberta wants their religion included in Alberta’s proposed new K-6 curriculum at an earlier stage. CBC News Online | Calgary |
They say kids should learn about different religions beginning in Grade 2 instead of waiting until Grade 6.
Hinduism is the religion followed by the majority of people in India as well countries like Nepal and Fiji, with an estimated 900 million worshipers worldwide. [Actually, there are more than 1 billion Hindus in the world at present. Ed. Hindu Existence Website].
Hinduism has no founder or scripture and no common set of teachings like other religions, and it stretches back thousands of years.
“They have Christianity, Judaism and Islam in Grade 2 but somehow Hinduism might have been missed,” said Dharmesh Goradia with the Hindu Cultural Society of Central Alberta. “Maybe it was overlooked?”
Goradia says the number of Hindus in Alberta is increasing in and outside of the province’s major cities and that should be reflected in the curriculum.
He says Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion and there are now Hindus throughout Alberta, from Lethbridge all the way to Fort McMurray.
“Our request to the government and education ministry is to include Hinduism as well along with the other three religions,” Goradia said. “We also want Indian culture and heritage to be added.”
The draft curriculum has been widely panned by experts, advocates, parents and most school districts. Concerns range from parts of it appearing to have been plagiarized to some proposed outcomes being developmentally inappropriate.
The government is spending $6 million this year developing resources and preparing teachers to test the new curriculum in some elementary classrooms, beginning in September.
A rally will take place in Red Deer on Saturday to raise awareness of the Hindu community’s request to be included at an earlier stage of the curriculum. Letters are also being written to MLAs, including Education Minister Adriana LaGrange.
Goradia says there might also be rallies in Calgary and Edmonton.
The province claims the new draft curriculum is the first in Alberta to include detailed information about the Hindu religion but says world religions are not a focus in Grade 2.
“This content will be taught in Grade 6, with students learning about major world religions such as Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Sikhism,” said government spokesperson Nicole Sparrow.
“Alberta Education has met with multiple representatives from Hindu associations, and is planning to meet with the Hindu Culture Society of Central Alberta in the coming weeks to hear their feedback,” Sparrow added.
The province says all Albertans are encouraged to provide feedback on the draft K-6 curriculum, which will help refine the draft curriculum before it’s implemented across the province in the fall of 2022.
Dan McGarvey is a mobile journalist focused on filing stories remotely for CBC Calgary’s web, radio, TV and social media platforms, only using an iPhone and mobile tech. You can email story ideas and tips to Dan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet him @DanMcGarvey
Courtesy: CBC News.