The state school education department on Monday announced the implementation of Marathi as a compulsory subject till Class X in all schools, including those affiliated to CBSE, ICSE, IB and IGCSE boards.
The rule will be implemented in phases, involving two classes each year. For the 2020-21 academic year, students of classes I and VI will be mandated to study Marathi, followed by others in subsequent academic years – classes II and VII in 2021-22, classes III and VIII in 2022-23, classes IV and IX in 2023-24 and classes V and X in 2024-25. For students of schools whose medium of teaching is not Marathi, Union government’s three-language rule will apply.
From classes I to V, special focus will be given to listening, speaking, reading and writing skills of the students in Marathi. From classes VI to X, the focus will be on self-expression and comprehension. While students from foreign countries can avail certain exemptions, no exemptions will be made for students hailing from other states, a notification said.
In February, the Maharashtra Compulsory Teaching and Learning of Marathi Language in Schools Bill, 2020 was unanimously passed in state Assembly. According to it, schools can be fined for not complying with this rule.
“School education department has taken the decision to make Marathi compulsory in state schools across all mediums, and run by all boards from academic year 2020-21,” Minister Varsha Gaikwad tweeted on Monday.
At present, while most boards teach Marathi, the subject is taught only till class VIII. “Teaching Marathi to students of classes IX and X could be a challenge because they’re already loaded with other subjects. But in hindsight, it could be a good initiative to learn the state language,” said Nitin Padte, director of Mainadevi Bajaj International school.
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