The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has directed all its affiliated schools to celebrate ‘Sanskrit Week’ to promote the language among students and teachers.
In a circular dated June 30, the CBSE has asked the Directorate of Education of various states, including New Delhi, Arunachal Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, to celebrate Sanskrit Week in their schools from August 7-14 this year. It also asked principals to commence “Sanskrit-related activities” from July onwards and send in entries for selection at the national level by July 20, 2014.
“The celebration of Sanskrit Week would provide a medium for popularising Sanskrit and stimulating the interest in the language by increasing the awareness about the close relationship between Sanskrit and other languages and the cultural heritage in India. The Sanskrit Week in schools may encourage linguistic creativity among students and provide them an opportunity to benefit from the systematic structure around Sanskrit…,” the circular reads.
According to CBSE, the schools may hold short-speech competitions for students from classes IX to XII, and the winners of the competition can take part in a national-level competition. “Individual students may record a laghubashanam, a short speech of two minutes, on a topic of interest in Sanskrit,” the circular said.
Another proposed national-level competition for students from classes IX to XII is essay-writing in Sanskrit. “The essay should relate a topic for promotion of Sanskrit or modern Indian languages, Indian art and culture, interlinking Sanskrit with other languages and allied topics,” the circular said.
CBSE has also asked schools to encourage students from all classes to compose short Sanskrit poems on different themes and send the best poems to the Board. “Schools may also organise Sanskrit shloka antyakshari or recitation competition for students from classes VI to VIII and may invite eminent Sanskrit scholars as jury,” CBSE has said.
Directing teachers to “establish links of Sanskrit with modern Indian languages, including those in 8th schedule of Indian Constitution, and international languages, CBSE said the research and their findings may be sent to the board as national-level entries.
CBSE also directed schools to organise ‘Yuva Sansad’ or Youth Parliaments, seminars for teachers on “practical applications of Sanskrit”, screen Sanskrit films and organise interactions for children with eminent Sanskrit scholars. Reacting to the circular, principal of Tagore International School, Madhulika Sen, said this was the first time the school would organise a Sanskrit Week. “Until now, we used to have theme-based programmes on Sanskrit on ‘Hindi Divas’. But we have never organised it as a week. We welcome the circular, though. It’s a good effort. Sanskrit is our language and I am all for it. When we can celebrate French Day, German Day and Spanish Day, then why not Sanskrit Day?”