A junior college teachers’ body has alleged that the management of K J Somaiya College of Arts and Commerce in Vidyavihar is trying to shut the Marathi department. The college management has rubbished the allegations.
There are also allegations that the authorities are trying to discourage students from opting for Marathi. According to teachers in the department, over 100 students left Marathi last year and opted for foreign languages. This year, around 70 students opted for foreign language against Marathi.
This led to one of the two teachers’ posts in the Marathi department in the college turning into a part-time position.
According to Anil Deshmukh, general secretary of the Maharashtra Junior College Teachers Federation, the junior college has been asking individual students to consider opting for foreign languages instead of Marathi.
A senior teacher from the college’s Marathi department (degree section) said, “The college issued a notification after the admissions were complete allowing students to opt for foreign languages. The students had a chance to rethink and about 100 students last year and 70 this year opted out. This meant one entire divisions closed. If this continues, the department could shut down in near future. Instead of preserving and promoting an Indian language the college management is promoting foreign languages.”
Meanwhile, in a statement, college authorities clarified that they were not discouraging students from studying Marathi. “Last year, the number of students opting for Marathi decreased slightly. The approvals for teachers’ posts are given by the education department (deputy director of education) on the basis of number of students. Since the
workload decreased, we now have one full time and one part time position instead of two full time positions,” said the statement.