[Lgpolicy-list] [lg policy] India: Schools assail HRD ministry's move on German language

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Mon Nov 17 16:03:28 UTC 2014

Schools assail HRD ministry's move on German languageManash Pratim Gohain
| Nov 17, 2014, 07.15 AM IST




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NEW DELHI: The decision of the HRD ministry to not allow German as the
third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) has not gone down well with
public schools. Many experts feel that though the government's move is
constitutionally valid, the problem lies in the non-implementation of the
'three-language policy' in its right spirit for all these years.

While in this instance, a problematic MoU with the Goethe Institute has
been cited to get rid of German as the third language, HRD officials said:
"If similar principle of having only Indian languages as third language is
put in practice, all Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) affiliated
schools will face the problem." Sources also said that while deciding not
to renew the MoU and claiming only Indian languages can be taught,
government did not foresee its implications on schools outside the KV

Putting the issue into perspective, Padma shri Anvita Abbi, president,
Linguistic Society of India said the problem is that the "three-language
formula" has failed in India as every state follows whichever system suits

Abbi, a former linguistics professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University said:
"As per the "three-language formula", in non-Hindi states, languages to be
offered are Hindi, one of the languages in the eighth schedule, and English
or 'any modern European language'. So German should have been introduced
dropping English instead. In Hindi states, it should be Hindi, a modern
Indian language especially from South India and English or any European
language. The non-Hindi states instead drop Hindi and in Hindi states they
teach Sanskrit."

Schools feel that students should be allowed to have their choice.
According to Ameeta Mulla Wattal, principal, Springdales, Pusa Road, "The
three-language formula has been an integral part of education. It will be a
dichotomy that on one level our PM is travelling around the world, building
up image of India as a global force and reaching out to the world and on
the other hand we are railing against foreign languages. Students must have
choices of all the languages — foreign and regional."


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