The directive by the Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) Board asking its schools to stop teaching German as a third language during mid session has left students and teachers in the lurch. While the contracts of many German teachers have been cut short, schools have been forced to organise counselling sessions for parents.
“If our children are willing to move forward and study the language and there are teachers teaching the subject, why is the government trying to let us down. This rule has not been applied to private schools. Students from Kendriya Vidyalaya will suffer. A foreign language would have broadened their career options,” said the mother of a Class VIII student at a KV in south Delhi.
Another parent said, “If the decision was taken to make students more aware about India’s traditions and culture, why don’t they remove English too? Exams have already been conducted. The government can’t decide in the middle of the school year that students who spent almost three years learning the subject will now have to study Sanskrit.”
A senior KV official said, “There was a board meeting on October 27 where the decision was taken. We are not stopping schools from teaching the subject. From 2009-10, some KVs had started offering German as an option to Sanskrit from Class VI-VIII. Now, instead of an optional subject, it will be offered as a hobby subject or additional subject.”
He added that if students want to study the language, it will be included in their co-curricular activities grades.
Sources on the board said detailed guidelines would be sent to schools “by Tuesday”. “This is to ensure that students make a smooth transition to Sanskrit,” an official said.
For many teachers, the directive came as bad news. “A day after the school got these directives, I was given a relieving order,” said a teacher.