Faced with complaints of Kendriya Vidyalayas firing German teachers following the Human Resource Development Ministry’s decision to replace German with Sanskrit as a third language in KV schools, the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) has issued a circular instructing all schools to retain the teachers hired on a contract to teach German, given it would still continue to be taught as an additional language.
Explained: No German please, we’re Indian
As per a circular dated November 17, KVS has clarified: “Teaching of German (foreign) language will be continued for those students of Class VI to VIII who were studying German language and opt for continuing the study of German language as an additional subject or as a hobby class…Therefore, the services of teachers recruited on contractual basis for teaching of German must be continued as per the existing terms and conditions.”
The KVS board of governors, headed by HRD Minister Smriti Irani, had in its meeting on October 27 decided that “teaching of German language as an option to Sanskrit will be discontinued forthwith”. German has been kept as an additional subject/hobby class for students.
The decision affects around 70,000 students across KVs from Classes VI to VIII who have opted to learn German. The Ministry claims the MoU signed between KVS and Goethe Institut-Max Mueller Bhawan in 2011 violates the National Policy on Education, the National Curriculum Framework and the Three Language Formula.
The Indian Express had reported that the Ministry is likely to soften its stance of removing German as a third language with immediate effect and allow the existing students to continue with German till the end of the academic year.
Meanwhile, the KVS has set up a fact-finding committee headed by its additional commissioner — as instructed by the HRD ministry — to look into the matter and “identify the circumstances” under which the MoU was signed, “without the prior concurrence of MHRD/GOI” and find reasons that led to signing of an MoU that violates the Three Language Formula. Incidentally, while the MoU was signed between the KVS and the German cultural body, the probe committee to look into violations comprises entirely of those from the KVS.