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English as optional: Teachers fear job-loss

Updated on: 30 May,2024 06:58 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Dipti Singh |

Maharashtra’s draft proposal makes them think they might become surplus to requirement if student numbers decline

English as optional: Teachers fear job-loss

Teachers feel English should be compulsory as all higher and international education is in the language. Representation Pic

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English as optional: Teachers fear job-loss

English teachers have started fearing job loss amid discussions that started after the Maharashtra State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT) moved a proposal to make English an optional subject for students of Std XI and Std XII. The teachers also said that making English an optional subject would not be a good move.

English subject teachers at junior colleges across the city are expressing anxiety and fear over the State Curriculum Framework (SCF) draft proposal, which suggests making English an optional subject instead of its current status as a mandatory subject.

“The new SCF draft has left English teachers worried. They fear that if this proposal is implemented and the number of students opting for English declines, they could be categorised as surplus and eventually lose their jobs. We believe this proposal needs more consideration, as it seems illogical and unnecessary,” said an English teacher from a junior college in Kandivli.

Prathana Ashtekar, a junior college English teacher, said, “I do not understand the logic behind making English an optional subject. I believe many people will object to this eventually. The medium of instruction for higher education is English, so it is important for students to continue with English until junior college, as it has been until now.”

Shitalprasad Badgujar, assistant teacher at Sandesh Junior College in Vikhroli, asserted that English is a global language and higher education worldwide is provided in English. “At Indian higher secondary schools, English must be taught in Std XI and Std XII, compulsorily, as usual. No Indian language or foreign language should be an option for English. Moreover, 8-10 foreign languages could have been offered as options to English. 

An abrupt change in the teaching and learning process can be misleading for India's next generation of learners,” Badgujar said. According to the draft proposal, students of Std XI and Std XII will be able to select eight subjects in total—two languages (one must be an Indian language and the second an international/foreign language), environmental education, physical education, and four other subjects of their choice. Until now, studying English and a second language has been mandatory from Std I to Std XII. The SCERT has invited objections and suggestions from stakeholders till June 3.

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