[lg policy] India: Climbdown on language policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Wed Dec 30 20:03:09 UTC 2015


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In a climbdown from its earlier stand on the language policy, the
Department of Primary and Secondary Education has said that the “final
choice” on medium of instruction should be left to parents rather than the
government.

In its recommendations for the New Education Policy given to the Ministry
of Human Resource Development (MHRD), the State government has, however,
said that the medium of instruction in lower primary classes (classes one
to five) should be in the mother tongue in government-funded schools. This
gains significance in the light of the government’s protracted legal battle
arguing that the mother tongue or regional language should be the medium of
instruction till Class 5.

After nearly a two-decade battle, the Apex Court in its order on May 6 last
year had said that parents should have the freedom to choose the medium of
instruction.

Despite the order, the State government had passed an amendment to the
Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act to make the mother
tongue the medium of instruction at the elementary level. In its
recommendation to the MHRD, the department has also said that the medium of
instruction in higher primary classes should be bilingual with English as
well as the mother tongue.The department also urged the Union government to
refine the three-language policy.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/climbdown-on-language-policy/article8038627.ece


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