Make Marathi compulsory in schools, political parties say
The demand is that Marathi should be taught in all schools in Maharashtra, irrespective of board
After the draft National Education Policy (NEP) was released requesting suggestions from the public, a demand by political parties in Mumbai to make the Marathi language compulsory in schools has sparked discussion. The demand is that Marathi should be taught in all schools in Maharashtra, irrespective of board.
While the students' wing of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has submitted a letter to the Deputy Director of Education in Mumbai, the student wing of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had approached MSCERT (Maharashtra State Council for Educational Research and Training).
The NCP students' wing on Monday submitted a letter regarding it to the Deputy Director of Education Rajendra Ahire. "As the draft NEP is out and suggestions are invited, we have written to the deputy director of education. With many non-state-board schools making Marathi optional, the state's own language is slowly dying. With more and more parents now aspiring to take admission to non-state board schools, this number of students not learning Marathi will continue," said Amol Matele, president of NCP's students' wing. Ahire said, "We have received the letter and will forward it to higher authorities."
Chetan Pednekar from Maharashtra Navnirman Vidyarthi Sena — student wing of MNS, said, "We had already written to MSCERT regarding this, to which the director said our request would be forwarded to the higher authorities. It is important to preserve the language and culture of the state."
However, the demand is expected to receive criticism as non-state board schools find it difficult to make the language compulsory.
A principal of a school in Andheri, requesting anonymity, said, "State board schools offer Marathi as there are takers. Students choose other boards because the state board has a three-language formula and many do not want to learn three while studying other subjects too."
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