English is necessary, says edu minister
The Maharashtra government will adopt policies that will ensure equal importance to Marathi and English in the state.mumbai Updated: Apr 10, 2010 01:36 IST
The Maharashtra government will adopt policies that will ensure equal importance to Marathi and English in the state.
State Education Minister Balasaheb Thorat said this in the legislative Council on Friday.
“…We all have to learn English and know it well. Today, the youth working in service sector - whether it is call centers, mobile shops or malls… need to know English,” said Thorat taking a dig at the Sena’s Marathi agenda.
The Sena and the MNS have been rooting for Marathi to be made compulsory in the state. The government also recently joined the chorus when it made it manmdatory for taxi drivers to know the language.
Thorat, however, said it was necessary for youth to be fluent in English too. “We will bring in policies that will teach better quality English in Marathi schools and better Marathi in English schools. It needs to be a two-pronged approach,” Thorat said.
Thorat was replying to a question raised by Sena Member of Legislative Council, Diwakar Raote, who demanded that the state rethink its policy to give fast track permissions to English medium schools because they were not eligible for state aid.
Raote said this affected students, who want to study in Marathi schools, which take a long time to get sanctions since they are aided. “Why do we have to favour a language that is ignored by 143 countries in the world? There are 8,000 proposals pending with the government for Marathi schools since 2008,” Raote said.
Thorat denied this and said the state intends to give Marathi preference, and that is why it provides aid to Marathi schools. “If you look at statistics only five per cent of secondary schools in the state are English medium, of which majority are in Mumbai, Pune, Raigad and other metros,” Thorat said adding that 15,466 of the 19,767 secondary schools in Maharashtra are Marathi medium schools.
Thorat said the education system showed the way for the Right to Education Act that recently came into force. “We had implemented many of the steps in the Bill way back in 2002,” said Thorat. “Going by the new Bill, we have to establish only 56 primary schools and 1,080 secondary schools in the state to ensure there is a school within 3 km of your home.”