[lg policy] India: Sanskrit v/s German: HRD committee says no to teaching foreign tongue as third language

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Mon Aug 31 14:28:14 UTC 2015


Sanskrit v/s German: HRD committee says no to teaching foreign tongue as
third language
Monday, 31 August 2015 - 6:30am IST | Place: New Delhi




The language policy committee was constituted by the HRD ministry in
December last year, after the ministry revoked the decision to teach German
as a third language in schools.

    Smriti Irani Smriti Irani felt the need to have a comprehensive
language policy File Photo

An expert committee on language policy is singing the same tune as that of
the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry. The committee has rejected
the idea of teaching a foreign language as third language. A final decision
on scrapping or continuing with the three-language formula in school
curriculum is yet to be taken. The committee is also mulling over
developing a four-language formula.

The language policy committee was constituted by the HRD ministry in
December last year, after the ministry revoked the decision to teach German
as a third language in schools.

The UPA government had replaced German with Sanskrit as third language.
Smriti Irani, after taking over as HRD minister, felt the need to have a
comprehensive language policy in order to create a clear-cut road map for
all regional and classical Indian languages. The committee is also drawing
plans to promote, preserve and develop Indian languages. "It is the first
time that languages have not been discussed as English versus Hindi. This
time, it is English versus the rest of the Indian languages," said a
committee member.

"The problem is that not many text books are available in Indian languages,
making us fall back on English. States have highlighted that new text books
need to be written in regional languages. There will be a need to train
teachers and resource persons in these regional languages," said another
member.

The committee will also be highlighting the lack of study material for
professional courses in regional languages. "For an engineering or a
management student, there is not enough study material in Hindi, forcing
students to fall back on English. Text books for all professional courses
should be made available in Hindi and other regional languages," suggested
a member.

The committee has also reached a consensus on developing and promoting
Hindi as a link language and making it mandatory till class 6 or 7 at
schools.

"It has been observed that in schools in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and other
south Indian states, Hindi is not a part of the curriculum. To develop
Hindi as a link language, learning Hindi will have to become mandatory,"
said another member. Currently, English is the only link language for
India. The BJP government, which wants to develop Hindi as a second link
language, plans to train the future generation.

The members were quick to add in a word of caution and wanted the books to
be of scientific temper. "Languages should be taught scientifically and
rationally. It should be promoted to command respect among readers," said
another member. Besides teaching, setting up radio stations, television
channels, internet portals and newspapers in Indian languages were also
discussed.

The committee is meeting next month to start the drafting process. "We have
received suggestions from states. The drafting process will soon begin. We
will try to submit the report by the end of this year," said Professor
Kapil Kumar, committee's chairman.

The suggestions of the committee will be weaved into the new education
policy, the draft report of which is likely to come up in December this
year.

http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-sanskrit-vs-german-hrd-committee-says-no-to-teaching-foreign-tongue-as-third-language-2120202

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