Ever imagined your teachers speaking about traffic and road norms in class? No? Don’t worry, you might not have learnt road norms as a subject but the chances are that your child might have to study it as part of his/her school curriculum.
Mirroring the achievements of the UK and the US, the government has decided to introduce traffic and road norms as a chapter in the subject of social science for Central Board of Secondary Education [CBSE] students. The chapter is due to be introduced from class 6 to class 10 from the next academic year depending on whether everything goes as planned.
According to a report published in the Hindustan Times, the CBSE plans to include the subject and impart education on traffic norms, signs, using foot-overbridges, zebra crossings and subways. The other topics also include road crossing, identifying road signs, learning to use pedestrian facilities, the dos and don’ts of driving and also drunken driving.
The CBSE has already sent a draft proposal to the central government in this regard. Members of the syllabus committee are scheduled to meet the ministry officials on Friday to finalise and set the ball rolling.
The HT report quotes a senior official as saying that ”We will take inputs from Delhi traffic police and organizations like the international road federation (IRF), institute of road Traffic education and society of Indian automobile manufacturers and incorporate them into the chapter.”
Even the cops are upbeat about this proposal with Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police being quoted as saying that accidents would come down drastically if trained teachers were to educates school children on traffic norms.
According to statistics, Delhi roads have seen 2,066 deaths in 2007 accidents. Even this year until February 15, 198 accidents have occurred leading to 202 deaths.
All said and done, this may be a great proposal and may change the way Delhiites use roads. But the fact remains that without practical exposure and training, this might just remain a theory to be mugged.
Practical training is the need of the hour, children need to be taken to actual places where scenarios can be created and recreated so as to expose them and train the kids to make the right decision. The children need to be taught as to whom to call when an accident occurs, which side of the road to walk on, how to identify traffic signs and so on.
The traffic police have their own programme to teach young children the laws of the road. Schools/educational institutions who wish to groom theirs students into good road using citizens are being invited by the police department to enroll themselves with the Road Safety Club.
Such measures can only augur well for the future citizens of the country. What remains to be seen is how much of a change are these initiative going to usher in and whether the student actually puts his/her knowledge to the test.