[lg policy] India: Four-fold rise in Kendriya Vidyalaya students opting for German despite downgrade

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Tue May 23 10:58:12 EDT 2017


Four-fold rise in Kendriya Vidyalaya students opting for German
despite downgrade The Board of Governors of the KVS, headed by Irani, had
in a meeting on October 27, 2014, decided to discontinue the teaching of
German language as an option to Sanskrit.
Written by Anil Sasi <http://indianexpress.com/profile/author/anil-sasi/> |
New Delhi | Published:May 23, 2017 5:43 am
[image: Kendriya vidyalaya, german language, HRD, HRD ministry, KV german
language, Students opt german subject, sanskrit, Smriti Irani, NPE,
Education, indian express news]
According to the three-language policy of 1968, KVs offer the official
language of the state in which they are located as a third language,
English and Hindi being the first and second languages. (Representational
photo)

A YEAR after it was pushed out as the third language in Kendriya Vidyalaya
(KV) schools, German has seen a remarkable revival as an additional option,
figures obtained by *The Indian Express* show.

The number of students opting to choose German as their international
language has seen a four-fold rise in 2016-17 after having registered a
sharp drop the previous year in the wake of the HRD Ministry’s decision in
2014 to remove it as a “third language” from the curriculum of KVs.

Following the Ministry’s decision, the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, which
runs 500 central schools across the country, decided to offer German as a
“foreign language” instead of third language from the 2015-16 session.

In the first year after transition, the number of students who studied
German dipped by nearly a fifth from 50,978 in 2014-15 to 11,225 in
2015-16, the lowest since the language was introduced in KVs five years
ago. But then, the language made a sharp comeback last fiscal to touch
42,918 enrollments in 2016-17.

According to the three-language policy of 1968, KVs offer the official
language of the state in which they are located as a third language,
English and Hindi being the first and second languages.

In Hindi-speaking states, Sanskrit is offered as a third language. German
was initially introduced in central schools in fiscal 2012-13 after a
memorandum of understanding between the KVS and the Goethe Institute on
September 23, 2011. At the time, German was offered as one of the third
languages from classes VI to VIII.

However, the MoU, which was valid for a period of three years, was not
renewed by the HRD ministry under the then minister Smriti Irani
<http://indianexpress.com/about/smriti-irani> on the grounds that “some of
the provisions of the MoU were not consistent with the provisions of the
National Policy on Education (NPE), 1968, as well as the provisions of the
National Curriculum Framework, 2005 relating to three language formula”.

The Board of Governors of the KVS, headed by Irani, had in a meeting on
October 27, 2014, decided to discontinue the teaching of German language as
an option to Sanskrit.

Even as Germany raised the issue with the Centre at various levels, the
parents of affected students approached the courts for relief. In December
2014, the Supreme Court accepted the proposal mooted by the Centre that KV
students of class VI-VIII will not have to take examinations for Sanskrit
in that academic session and be allowed to continue with German as an
optional subject.

The bench also asked the KVS to ensure that students, who wanted to pursue
German or any other language as optional subjects, be provided with all
facilities.

In November 2015, the Union Cabinet gave its nod to the proposal of
including German in KVs as an additional subject. The Cabinet granted
“ex-post approval” to the ‘Joint Declaration of Intent’ for the promotion
of German as an additional foreign language in KVs in conformity with the
NPE and the promotion of teaching modern Indian languages in Germany.

“Currently, German is being offered as an additional foreign language in
the Kendriya Vidyalayas, which is not in violation of the National Policy
on Education. The extant provisions of the policy stipulates that special
emphasis needs to be laid on the study of English and other international
languages,” said a government official involved in the exercise.




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