SCERT mulls road safety chapters in HSE curriculum

Based on a curriculum that MVD readied a year ago, in tandem with the Kerala Road Safety Authority and the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre, the aim is to usher in a culture of road safety among youth at an early age

Published - July 10, 2024 06:47 pm IST - KOCHI

The Kerala State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT) is exploring ways to include road safety and allied aspects in the higher secondary school curriculum to inculcate safe driving habits in students.

Based on a curriculum that the Motor Vehicles department (MVD) readied a year ago, in tandem with the Kerala Road Safety Authority (KRSA) and the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC), the aim is to usher in a culture of road safety among youth at an early age.

Over 4,000 motorists and pedestrians are killed in road accidents in Kerala while another 40,000 suffer permanent disability.

“There is a need for behavioural modifications at the school level in order to usher in a culture of road safety and adherence to road ethics, wherein due courtesy is shown to fellow road users,” says Dilip Kumar K.G., a Motor Vehicle Inspector attached to the Perumbavoor Sub-RTO office, who was among those who readied the curriculum in Malayalam and English.

“Ideally, safe conduct and driving in public spaces must be taught in a progressive manner from lower classes,” he says referring to incidents of schoolchildren crossing roads in a dangerous manner. “As they enter teenage and beyond, they often adopt risky driving practices on two-wheelers as a mode of releasing their pressure and to garner social media attention, unmindful of the nuisance and danger they pose to road users,” he says.

The MVD and the other two agencies readied the curriculum and handed it over to the Education department considering this situation.

Once included on the syllabus, students will be able to obtain driving licence as soon as they complete the course, having learned the relevant regulations needed to get learner’s licence at the school level itself. The relevant Sections of the Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules will have to be amended for one to obtain licence on turning 18, sources say.

While lauding the initiative, SCERT Director Jayaprakash R.K. says students of higher secondary classes have a tight schedule and the road safety curriculum can be included when the content of HSE books is reviewed. Discussions have already been held in this regard and ought to be revived, he says.

The SCERT had earlier readied a booklet ‘Surakshita Yatra’ and given it to the KRSA, which funded the initiative. Select aspects of road safety are being taught in lower classes, it is learnt.

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