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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

Maharashtra govt considers making Marathi compulsory up to Class 12 for all boards

NCP leaders want state to pass a resolution to the effect immediately; govt wants board to have the liberty to decide

mumbai Updated: Feb 27, 2018 16:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
School education minister Vinod Tawde.
School education minister Vinod Tawde.(HT File Photo)

The government is considering making Marathi mandatory till Class 10 or Class 12 in all schools affiliated to all boards in Maharashtra, school education minister Vinod Tawde told the state Assembly on Tuesday.

The decision will be taken soon, after the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education deliberates on the matter, he said. Instead of taking the final decision in the legislature, the board should be given the liberty to decide on the matter, the minister added.

Currently, Marathi is a compulsory subject up to Class 10 in all state education board schools, but it remains optional for other boards.

The matter came up as today (February 27) is Marathi Bhasha Gaurav Din (Marathi Language Day).

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar on Tuesday said the government should make Marathi mandatory as a subject till Class 10 across all schools in Maharashtra. He demanded that the government should take the decision immediately, on the occasion of Marathi Bhasha Gaurav Din, and that it should be enforced from the coming academic year.

He was backed by NCP leader Jayant Patil, who demanded that a resolution be passed by the legislative Assembly to the effect.

“If a quick decision is not taken, the day will not be far away when the language will live only in museums,” Pawar said. “We have many legislators who have completed their education in English and find it difficult to converse in Marathi. We have young ministers in the House who avoid responding to questions as they don’t feel comfortable speaking in their mother tongue.” There is nothing wrong with expecting that people who live in Maharashtra should speak and communicate in Marathi, he pointed out.

Tawde said his government does not have a different opinion on this issue, and that deliberations are already underway to make Marathi a compulsory subject. “We should respect the autonomy of the institution created by us. Let the board chalk out the policy,” the minister suggested.

Earlier in the day, the Assembly witnessed uproar over the deletion of a stanza from a poem by noted Marathi writer Suresh Bhat, which is recited during the celebration of Marathi Bhasha Gaurav Din. Tawde clarified that the stanza was never a part of the official version of the poem, so there was no question of excluding it.

First Published: Feb 27, 2018 16:47 IST