The state school education and sports department on Wednesday announced the formation of a committee to draft rules regarding the implementation of The Maharashtra Compulsory Teaching and Learning of Marathi Language in Schools Act, 2020.
The Act mandates compulsory teaching and learning of Marathi in all schools — government and private — from Class 1 to X across all mediums and boards in Maharashtra.
As per Section 16 (1) of the Act, which allows the state to frame rules for the law that came into being on April 1, the department has formed an eight-member committee to be headed by State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) Director Dinkar Patil.
According to the notification, the other members of the committee included Deputy Secretary (School Education) Rajendra Pawar, Maharashtra State Board Secretary Ashok Bhosale, SCERT coordinating officer Vikas Garad, Marathi language department deputy head Jagram Bhatkar, Balbharti special officer Rajiv Patole, Additional Secretary (Marathi language) Nanda Raut and SCERT deputy head Varsharani Bhopale
The challenge ahead
Given the difference in curriculum across boards, the committee should consider whether making Marathi compulsory would increase the workload of students, who are already reeling under pressure in senior classes. Schools affiliated to other boards have repeatedly cited this challenge. Instead of imposing blanket rules across all schools, boards and mediums, consultation with stakeholders will help.
In June, the department had announced the implementation of Marathi as a compulsory subject in all schools. The rule will be implemented in phases, involving two classes each year.
For 2020-21 academic year, Class I and Class VI students will be mandated to study Marathi, followed by Class II and Class VII in 2021-22, Class III and Class VIII in 2022-23, Class IV and Class IX in 2023-24 and Class V and Class X in 2024-25.
For students of studying in mediums other than Marathi, the learning and difficulty levels of the subject as well as the Union government’s three language rule will apply.
From classes I to V, special focus will be given to the listening, speaking, reading and writing skills of the students in Marathi. From classes VI to X, self-expression and comprehension will be the focus.
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