Maha plans law to make Marathi a must in all schoolsUpdated: Feb 10, 2020 23:51 IST
The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government — comprising Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress —is planning a legislation to make Marathi language mandatory in all Central board schools, including Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE).
The state is studying laws enacted by the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka and Kerala that made their languages mandatory in Central board schools.
The state government’s Marathi language department will introduce the bill on the first day of the budget session on February 24, with the aim of implementing it from this academic year starting June.
“Besides looking into the existing acts of these states, we are also planning to hold brainstorming sessions with stakeholders, including school managements, before introducing the bill,” said Prajakta Lawangare, secretary, Marathi Language department.
“We are making it mandatory to introduce Marathi as one of the two compulsory languages in all the schools. Many ICSE and CBSE schools treat Marathi as optional language and the marks scored in this subject are not calculated in the final results. It will be introduced in Class 1 and Class 5 simultaneously, so that the language is made compulsory over the next five years,” said an official from the school education department.
The official, however, said that introducing the law on the first day of the session may be difficult as deliberation with stakeholders and studying the implementation of the act in other states may take some time.
Education expert Vasant Kalpande said that although it will help conserve the language, enforcing the law in letter and spirit is more important. “In Kerala and Tamil Nadu, 60% and 45% of the students study in English- medium schools, while in Maharashtra, the percentage is 25. This means the percentage of students studying in Marathi-medium schools is more than in English-medium schools. Merely enacting the law would not help, but its implementation is more important. Sometimes, students in English-medium schools find it difficult to score good marks in Marathi and hence they are reluctant to opt for the subject,” he said.
Ganesh Parameswaran, principal, Bal Bharti Public School, Navi Mumbai, said that they would not have any difficulty in implementing the law, if made compulsory. “Barring a few difficulties like rearrangements of the lectures and the teachers, there would not be any problem in introducing Marathi as a compulsory language. Our school teaches it from Class 1,” he said.
Among the four southern states, Tamil Nadu was the first to introduce the legislation in the country in 2006, while the other southern states enacted them in the past few years.