The Kerala Assembly on Wednesday passed the Malayalam Language (Teaching Act) Bill, 2017, that makes the language a subject for study in all schools in the state from the Class I to X.
The Bill, among other things, makes it clear that no ban should be imposed, directly or indirectly, on students speaking Malayalam in schools.
Winding up the discussions on the Bill, Kerala Education minister C Raveendranath said the government has decided to remove the clause “compulsory” from the legislation.
The government’s objective is to ensure a generation of students who are fluent in Malayalam in the next ten years, the minister said.
The government would also take necessary steps to promote teaching of Malayalam in schools where Arabic, Urdu or Sanskrit is the first language, he said.
Earlier, the government had promulgated an ordinance making Malayalam a compulsory subject in all schools in the state up to Class X.
The Bill that replaces the ordinance, comes into effect from the academic year 2017-18. It envisages teaching of Malayalam from Class I to Class X in all government, aided, unaided and self-financing institutions, including those affiliated to CBSE and ICSE.
It clearly states that schools should not impose any direct or indirect ban against speaking in Malayalam. It also states that no boards should be erected on campuses directing students to use any language other than Malayalam.
However, the Bill provides exemption to students coming from other states and countries.
They are exempted from appearing for examination for the Malayalam subject in Class X, but they should be taught the language through books prepared by the Kerala State Council for Education and Research and Training.