Forget any modern Indian language listed in the 8th Schedule, hopefully publishers gearing up to provide text books for March 2018, have new and interesting text books in Sanskrit ready
A language that is not ‘purely’ Indian will no longer be a learning option in schools under the threelanguage formula of the new National Education Policy of India. In the next academic year, barely six months away, all those wanting to learn foreign languages should opt for them as fourth or fifth language, the Human Resource Development Ministry has told the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), that is the curriculum implementation authority for 18,000 affiliated institutions across the country.
In December 2016, the CBSE had come up with a plan that had two major differences with the CBSE’s existing three-language formula that applies till Class 8. One, the scheme will be extended to Class 10 from 2018-19 academic year, and two, it does away with foreign languages as an option for students.
Under the new NEP, the threelanguage formula means students in Hindi-speaking states should learn a modern Indian language listed in the 8th Schedule, apart from Hindi and English and, in non-Hindi-speaking states, they should learn Hindi along with the regional language and English.
However, a majority of the CBSE affiliated institutions offer the mother tongue (Bengali/Tamil) or Hindi, English and a foreign language such as German and Mandarin up to Class 8.
A survey conducted earlier in the year in Calcutta CBSC affiliated schools showed students preferred to learn Bengali and English, and a foreign language. In Puducherry, students prefer Tamil, English and French. Delhi government schools offer Urdu and Punjabi for a third language but there are few takers. The grapevine says, due to lack of infrastructure and teachers, Delhi schools are most likely to now make Sanskrit compulsory up to Class X. No north Indian school offers any south Indian/east-west Indian language as third language (exception SPV, Kannada School, Bengali School etc in Union Territory of Delhi).