Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured Chancellor Angela Merkel that his government would consider how the issue of the scrapping of German as third language in Kendriya Vidyalayas could be resolved within the framework of the Indian system. Ruhi Tewari summarises the controversy.
Why has the HRD Ministry dropped German?
The HRD Ministry says that teaching German as third language, as well as the 2011 MoU between the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (which administers KVs) and Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan, violate the National Policy on Education, the National Curriculum Framework and the Three-Language Formula.
What is the Three-Language Formula?
That schools must teach Hindi, English and one modern Indian language. The third language should preferably be one of the southern languages in Hindi-speaking states, and the regional language in non-Hindi speaking states. The formula was laid down in 1968, reiterated in the 1986 Education Policy and, again, in 2005.
To which level of school does the formula apply?
The secondary level, which is Classes 6-8.
How did KVs start offering German as a language option?
In 2009, KVS decided to offer German as an additional subject in the curriculum of KVs. Because the course was very popular, it was introduced as a third language option.
Who signed the 2011 MoU?
The KVS commissioner and regional director of Goethe-Institut, in the presence of E Ahamed, then MoS, HRD, and Cornelia Pieper, then Minister of State, German Federal Foreign Office.
Is the MoU still valid?
It lapsed in September.
So has German been altogether scrapped in KVs?
No. The ministry has said German will continue to be offered as an additional language/hobby class.
How many students are impacted?
Around 70,000 of Classes 6-8 who opted to learn German. Over 500 KVs offer German.
What happens to the teachers?
Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan has provided over 700 teachers. KVS has said services of teachers recruited on contract would continue.