The District of Columbia State Board of Education has voted in favor of including the Sikh faith in public schools’ social studies curriculum, following the actions of 17 states, reports the Sentinel.
According to a statement by the Sikh Coalition, the vote on June 21 provides an opportunity for over 49,000 students in the state to learn about the Sikh community.
The joint effort to implement these new standards has been months of advocacy from the Sikh Coalition working with the Sikh community and local educational administrations. The new standards will take effect in the 2024-2025 academic year.
The Sikh coalition has been working on a multi-year campaign towards increasing awareness about the Sikh faith by improving access to accurate information.
Harman Singh, Sikh Coalition Education Director, welcomed the announcement: “Inclusive and accurate standards are an important first step to combat bigotry and to reduce bullying, and they benefit all students by increasing baseline cultural competency and decreasing ignorance”.
A prominent member of the Sikh community, Daljit Singh Sawhney, expressed a similar sentiment of how the new standards would allow for an increased visibility towards the experiences of the Sikh community.
It was in April of this year when Virginia became the 17th state to include Sikhism in the public school curriculum, WION reported. The Virginia State Board of Education voted for the new History and Social Science Standards of Learning.
Utah and Mississippi were the 15th and 16th states to implement Sikhism in their social studies standards.
The Sikh coalition plan on continuing its advocacy in more states.
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