The Virginia State Board of Education on Thursday voted in favour of new History and Social Science Standards of Learning, which for the first time ever includes Sikhism.
The new standards will give more than a million students in Virginia the opportunity to learn about the Sikh community.
“After more than two years of engagement alongside the local sangat, this change will help to ensure that Sikhi can be taught in classrooms across the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Harman Singh, Senior Education Manager, Sikh Coalition.
“Inclusive and accurate standards are an important first step to combat bigotry and to reduce bullying, and they benefit all students by increasing cultural competency,” Singh said in a statement.
The Sikh Coalition, which has been working since March 2021 to include information about Sikhism, Sikh practices, and traditions in schools, said that the social studies standards come with serious and well-documented flaws, and there are many communities that are not represented as they should be.
“We continue to fight for not just the Sikh community, but all groups whose histories should be taught accurately,” the US-based organisation said in a statement.
Sikhism is the fifth largest religion in the world and the community has contributed to American society for over 125 years in the fields of civil rights, politics, agriculture, engineering, and medicine. (IANS)