The Centre Monday revised the draft National Education Policy by dropping a contentious clause that proposed to make Hindi mandatory in schools. The draft education policy led to a massive outcry, especially in Tamil Nadu, where the DMK and other political parties accused the Centre of imposing the language on non-Hindi speaking states.
“Students who wish to change one or more of the three languages they are studying may do so in Grade 6 or Grade 7, so long as they are able to still demonstrate proficiency in three languages (one language at the literature level) in their modular Board Examinations some time during secondary school,” the revised draft of the NEP said.
The initial version had made it mandatory for students in Hindi-speaking states learn a modern Indian language, apart from Hindi and English and, in non-Hindi-speaking states, Hindi along with the regional language and English.
“Students who wish to change one of the three languages they are studying may do so in Grade 6, so long as the study of three languages by students in the Hindi-speaking states would continue to include Hindi and English and one of the modern Indian languages from other parts of India, while the study of languages by students in the non-Hindi-speaking states would include the regional language, Hindi and English,” the draft policy had earlier said.
Earlier, the newly elected HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had said that the Centre has no intentions of imposing any language on anybody. Nishank’s clarification came after the earlier pitch for a three-language formula drew a strong reaction from political leaders across the ruling and opposition parties, especially in Tamil Nadu.
“It was a draft report and not a policy yet. We have sought feedback from various stakeholders. The committee has modified the earlier draft and made some changes,” a Human Resource Development Ministry official said.
According to the revised draft, the modular board examinations for language proficiency would test only basic proficiency in each language. “Such a change in language choice in Grade 6 would certainly be feasible if the student so desires and would in such cases be supported by teachers and the schooling system.”
The PMK, an ally of the BJP, had also alleged that the recommendation was imposition of Hindi and wanted the scrapping of the proposal.
With PTI inputs