India and Germany signed an agreement on Monday for teaching German as an additional foreign language in the Kendriya Vidyalayas a year after it was controversially replaced by Sanskrit at these schools.
Indian languages including Sanskrit will be taught in Germany in reciprocity. A separate agreement will be signed between the Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) and the Max Mueller Bhavan later to work out the modalities for implementation.
“German will be taught as an additional foreign language,” foreign secretary S Jaishankar told reporters and added that modern Indian languages will be taught in Germany simultaneously.
“We have a lot of scholars who are interested in that (learning Indian languages),” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a joint media interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier.
The agreement, however, will not violate the three-language formula and Sanskrit will continue to be taught as the third language in KV schools. Under the formula, a student has to study any modern Indian language along with English and Hindi.
A huge controversy erupted a year ago when the KVs decided to stop teaching German as a third language and replaced it with Sanskrit. The governing board of the KVs in its meeting in October last year directed that teaching of German as an option instead of Sanskrit be discontinued as it violated the formula.
The KVs had signed a memorandum of understanding that made German a third language without taking the HRD ministry on board; so the ministry directed them not to renew the memorandum.