[lg policy] Know Your Language? Bengali Made Compulsory In West Bengal Schools

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Wed May 17 11:07:52 EDT 2017

Know Your Language? Bengali Made Compulsory In West Bengal Schools
[image: Know Your Language? Bengali Made Compulsory In West Bengal Schools]

Education Minister Partha Chatterjee students in Bengal will have to study
three languages from Class 1.
*Kolkata: * West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee has announced
that all school students in the state will have to study three languages,
one of which will have to be Bengali. The three language policy will ensure
the mother tongue, regional language and an international language are
given equal importance, he said.

Late last night, during a press conference at his home, he said that all
private, government as well as ICSE and CBSE-affiliated schools will have
to make Bengali compulsory. Students will be free to pick the other two

Earlier, students had to study three languages - English and the mother
tongue from Class 1 while the third language made its way at the secondary
stage. But now the learning of all three will have to start from Class 1.

"From now on, it will be mandatory for students to learn Bengali in
schools. The schools affiliated to other boards (ICSE/CBSE) will have to
make Bengali as an optional subject from Class 1, giving students the
option to choose it either as second or third language," Mr Chatterjee

The minister said the decision was prompted following feedback that Bengali
was not being offered as an option in many schools.

"We will take into account the legal aspect as to whether a separate
legislation is needed or a state cabinet decision will be enough," he

Welcoming the move, noted historian and writer Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri
said, "Why will our children not know Bengali? It is a fact that students
in many schools do not have Bengali in their curriculum. The state's
initiative is laudable."

Last month, the central government proposed to make Hindi compulsory till
Class 10 in north India but rejected a recommendation that it be made
mandatory for students in non-Hindi speaking states as well. Hindi is a
compulsory language in north India till Class 8. In Classes 9 and 10, CBSE
students have the option of studying some other language including


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