Following the footsteps of its rival Maharashtra Navnirman Vidhyarthi Sena, the Nationalist Students’ Congress (NSC) has demanded that Marathi be made a compulsory subject in Junior college. A delegation of NSC activists met Education Minister Vinod Tawde on Thursday to discuss the issue. “In Maharashtra, all state board schools have Marathi compulsory right from Class I to Class X. We have demanded that this should be extended upto Junior college (up to Class XII),” said Amol Matele, Mumbai president of NSC.
According to Matele, Marathi has suffered a lot despite being the state language. “States like Tamil Nadu put a lot of effort to preserve their language. However, in Maharashtra, Marathi schools are gradually closing down,” Matele said.
He added, “In Junior college Marathi is offered as an optional subject against many other subjects, hence students give up Marathi for other subjects. We have now demanded that like English, Marathi be made compulsory in Junior colleges across the state.”
Tawde said, “The students’ activists met me and have put forth their demand. We will look into the matter, discuss it with the state board, experts before taking any call on the issue. Meanwhile, I want to clarify that it is not true that we are not taking any efforts preserve Marathi language.”
Tawde also heads the department of Marathi language. While Marathi is a compulsory subject in all state board schools up to class X, the education minister in March last year announced that Marathi will be made compulsory up to class VII in non-state board schools. The move was criticised by many academicians who termed it unfair.