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Explained: No German please, we’re Indian

In 2009, KVS decided to offer German as an additional subject in the curriculum of KVs.

Written by Ruhi Tewari | New Delhi | Updated: November 19, 2014 8:09 am

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured Chancellor Angela Merkel that his government would consider how the issue of the scrapping of German as third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas could be resolved within the framework of the Indian system. Ruhi Tewari summarises the controversy.

Why has the HRD Ministry dropped German?

The HRD Ministry says that teaching German as third language, as well as the 2011 MoU between the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (which administers KVs) and Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan, violate the National Policy on Education, the National Curriculum Framework and the Three-Language Formula.

What is the Three-Language Formula?
That schools must teach Hindi, English and one modern Indian language. The third language should preferably be one of the southern languages in Hindi-speaking states, and the regional language in non-Hindi speaking states. The formula was laid down in 1968, reiterated in the 1986 Education Policy and, again, in 2005.

To which level of school does the formula apply?
The secondary level, which is Classes 6-8.

How did KVs start offering German as a language option?

In 2009, KVS decided to offer German as an additional subject in the curriculum of KVs. Because the course was very popular, it was introduced as a third language option.

Who signed the 2011 MoU?

The KVS commissioner and regional director of Goethe-Institut, in the presence of  E Ahamed, then MoS, HRD, and Cornelia Pieper, then Minister of State, German Federal Foreign Office.

Is the MoU still valid?

It lapsed in September.

So has German been altogether scrapped in KVs?

No. The ministry has said German will continue to be offered as an additional language/hobby class.

How many students are impacted?

Around 70,000 of Classes 6-8 who opted to learn German. Over 500 KVs offer German.

What happens to the teachers?

Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan has provided over 700 teachers. KVS has said services of teachers recruited on contract would continue.

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  1. K
    Nov 19, 2014 at 10:02 am
    more importantly its individual freedom. if people don't want German they will not learn. Its elitist as well the same people will let their sons to learn foreign languages.Rem: Akhililesh yadav studied in Australia in spite of anti-English stance of his dad
    1. T
      The Indian
      Nov 19, 2014 at 11:53 am
      I still believe the three language formula was the best solution for an integral India. Language, it has always been the barrier between the South and the North. As much as it is necessary to teach Hindi and English to the children, I would suggest they must at least know the basics of a South Indian language and a North Western language. We are looking forward for a better India were people from all states can communicate and open the worlds to each other. It is not mere nationalism but a step forward for the coming generations to know and experience our country more. How many of the Indians know about other states than where he had lived. How many states have each Indian visited in their entire life? Being an Indian doesn't mean to speak and work for his state alone.
      1. B
        Nov 22, 2014 at 4:21 am
        German immigration policy does not encourage immigrants so learning German is a pure waste of time. Germans should learn Hindi if they want to do business with a 1.25 billion people market.Secondly, don't insult my country and countrymen. We will defeace where ever we like. That's none of your business.
        1. B
          Nov 20, 2014 at 3:03 am
          Most liberals only have political science, literature, history etc, a skill that Germans or anese etc don't need. The Indian Enggs and Doctors dont want to go to Germany they have better places to go. Germans and anese have anti-immigrant policy...let that get modified then we can think about German.So to liberals we say....No more deutschland über alles (Germany above all nations, the german nation anthem)...for us it is Bharat über alles (India above all nations)
          1. B
            Nov 19, 2014 at 5:52 pm
            So in the age of globalization why are Germans not learning Hindi or Mandrain? Same question can be asked about French, Russians, anese and so on......Sanskrit is the mother of all Indo-European and most Indian languages. Best to learn Sanskrit than learning languages that have no use....
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