Faith-based organizations are calling on the government to incorporate yoga into school curriculum as a way of encouraging students to promote self-discipline and mental well-being, addressing the rising drug problem.
During a recent drug consultation, Vishva Hindu Parishad Fiji’s General Secretary, Rajendra Prasad, stressed the importance of focusing on children’s inner selves and encouraging mental exercises.
Prasad emphasizes the value of introducing yoga into the curriculum, highlighting its role in fostering self-control and mental clarity.
“We are not producing holistic children. So let’s have that physical education. The first 20 minutes of that should be just yoga. And it’s not religious. Yoga is a form of exercise. Internal mind exercise brings self-discipline. And we don’t have to do anything.”
Prasad doubts the effectiveness of traditional drug education, arguing that overwhelming young children with theoretical knowledge does little to discourage drug abuse.
School counselor Avinesh Chand shared similar sentiments, claiming that the rise in drug-related problems is attributed to the absence of a nurturing home environment.
“And when a child is at a stress, they use drugs as a very easy coping mechanism, so they resort to whatever and whatever not, whatever comes to them when they resort to taking this as a coping mechanism”
Faith-based organizations believe that early emphasis on mental health and self-discipline can provide students with the skills they need to avoid substance abuse.