Rural Trips Now a Part of the Curriculum: A Giant Leap for Educational Tourism
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In a recent move, the government of Maharashtra has made it mandatory for all schools to organize trips to the rural parts of India for the students belonging to classes V-X. The motivation behind this decision is to introduce unconventional forms of learning into the curriculum, with tourism being one of the potential tools for education. As per the mandate, all schools in Maharashtra, irrespective of the board that they are affiliated with, have to arrange trips to locations that hold a historical, cultural, or geographical significance. Although the organisation of these excursions might be difficult, the long-term benefits of these rural tours for students surpass the logistical complications by far.
Educational tourism is one form of learning that has been an integral part of the education system in the western world for many years but is now rapidly gaining momentum in India as well. The significant rise in the number of agritourism centers that have sprouted throughout the country provides several options for arranging cultural trips for students.
These rustic destinations showcase the traditional customs of the region and offer a chance to interact with the locals and learn more about their cultural heritage.
Such an experience can act as a catalyst in the development of an interest for history and culture in the minds of the younger generation. Moreover, these rural excursions can support and enhance the knowledge pertaining to the country that is provided by the textbooks.
Not only is rural tourism an excellent way to learn more about the traditional heritage of the country, it is also a wonderful opportunity to witness the nation’s geographical and climatic diversity. The students will get a chance to discover new landscapes and terrains, something that is impossible to achieve in an urban environment due to the monotonous jungles of concrete. The excursions will also allow the children to enjoy the pristine environment of the countryside and have a close encounter with the flora and fauna that they read about every day. Agritourism helps the students to learn about the farming techniques and agricultural practices that are common in rural India; nothing can beat a direct interaction with the farmers when it comes to expanding one’s knowledge about this subject.
Visual memories tend to leave a stronger impression on the minds of children and prove to be a more effective form of learning, as opposed to the commonly adopted rote mechanism.
Another reason why rural tourism should be given emphasis in the Indian education system is to break down the barriers of social disparity at an early age. These days the students are segregated into private and public schools largely based on the financial capacity of the parents. As a result of this segregation, children tend to lose out on socializing with those belonging to a larger pool of religious, cultural, and economic backgrounds.
Rural tourism is one initiative to dissolve these invisible boundaries that divide the students into cliques and to encourage them to respect people who have a drastically different lifestyle compared to theirs.
In this manner, agritourism centers are one of the best school trip destinations because they not only offer a deeper knowledge of the classroom subjects but also play a role in grooming the personalities of the students. Therefore, making rural excursions a compulsory part of the curriculum is a great way to encourage the students to connect with different cultures and traditions and to learn while having fun.