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Mumbai: Proposal seeks to make English optional for Std XI, XII students

Updated on: 25 May,2024 06:42 AM IST  |  Mumbai
A Correspondent |

Stakeholders have until June 3 to put forth objections; move is to be implemented in govt schools, junior colleges

Mumbai: Proposal seeks to make English optional for Std XI, XII students

The first draft of the curriculum framework was released in October last year. Representation Pic

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Mumbai: Proposal seeks to make English optional for Std XI, XII students

If the new draft proposal of the State Curriculum Framework (SCF) gets a thumbs up from stakeholders and no one objects to it, English will no longer be mandatory for Std XI and XII students in government schools and junior colleges across the state. The Maharashtra State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT) has invited objections and suggestions from stakeholders until June 3.

English has been a mandatory subject from Std I to XII. However, according to the draft proposal released by the SCF of SCERT on Wednesday, starting from the new academic year, students will no longer have English as a compulsory subject for Std XI and XII. Instead, they can choose two languages: one Indian and one international/foreign language, including English, the proposal suggests.

Kamaladevi Awate, in charge of SCF-SCERT, told mid-day, “This is just a draft proposal. The final draft will be prepared incorporating the feedback from the stakeholders. If the majority of stakeholders give their feedback in favour of making English an elective, we will go ahead with that. If we receive objections against the proposed change, we will not make the changes. So, it now depends on the feedback we receive.”

Multidisciplinary education

As per the draft proposal, Std XI and XII students will be able to select eight subjects in total: two languages (one has to be an Indian language and the second an international/foreign language), environmental education, physical education, and four other subjects of their choice. The SCF aims to eventually remove stream-specific (Arts, Commerce, Science) learning and promote multidisciplinary education.

“One of the languages must be of Indian origin, according to the SCF’s language chart, which lists 17 native Indian languages and nine foreign languages, with English being one of them. It will be the child's choice, and depending on the availability at their respective school or junior college, the student can elect to study Russian, French, Spanish, German, or any other language too. The idea is to promote multilingualism in line with the NCF,” added Awate.

The list of native languages includes Marathi, Sanskrit, Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Sindhi, Bengali, Punjabi, Pali, Ardhamagadhi, Maharashtri Prakrit and Avesta-Pahlavi. Tongues classified as non-native or foreign are English, German, French, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Persian and Arabic.

The first draft of the curriculum framework, which was largely a replica of the National Curriculum Framework for Foundation Stage (NCF-FS), was released in October last year for public feedback. The state received over 2,000 responses, following which some tweaks were made to the document. The latest draft was released on Wednesday.

Ancient wisdom

Apart from this, the new curriculum framework, prepared by a committee of education experts, also mentions the inclusion of the Indian Knowledge System—yoga, astronomy, dancing, Kathak, Odissi, etc, as part of the formal education system. The draft proposal also mentions that henceforth, experiential learning and teaching methods should be used to develop effective communication, discussion, and writing skills in languages. It states that this should include all literary genres in prose and poetry (both ancient and modern). Lifelong enrichment should be provided through reading, speaking, conversation and writing, the framework further states. 

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