Students appearing for the Indian Certificate of Secon-dary Education (ICSE) examination from 2015 will be able to opt for French, German or Spanish as their second language paper instead of an Indian language.
At present, students have to choose an Indian language as their second language paper in Class 9 and 10, with the only exceptions being those who have studied abroad.
There are more than 1,700 ICSE schools in the country, of which 120 are in Maharashtra.
“Many students want to study a foreign language, many want to go abroad. Thus, we wanted to offer this option,” said Gerry Arathoon, chief executive and secretary of ICSE board.
The decision comes at a time when popularity of international schools is on the rise in India and these schools offer foreign languages such as Spanish and Russian.
School principals praised the move towards greater flexibility and contemporary relevance.
“This gives students more options,” said Seema Buch, principal, Gundecha Education Aca-demy, Kandivali.
The new rule at ICSE schools, however, is likely to impact lower classes more than Class 9 and 10, as it will be easier to teach a foreign language to students from those classes.
Also, individual schools will have to decide on whether to offer their students the option of taking a foreign language as the second language paper.
“It will be up to the schools, whether they can arrange for the teachers or not,” said an ICSE school principal.