Govt makes Gujarati compulsory in all schools
AHMEDABAD: In a major decision aimed at promoting Gujarati language, the state government on Wednesday announced that Gujarati will be introduced as a compulsory language in classes 1 and 2 from the academic year 2018-19. Teaching of the language will be mandatory in schools affiliated with different boards including CBSE, ICSE and international boards as well as English medium schools.
State education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said that from academic year beginning June 2018-19, Gujarati will be introduced as a introductory language in classes 1 and 2 wherein basics will be taught. After that, the language will be made compulsory in classes 3-8 in a phased manner.
The move will increase pride in Gujarati as a language as all children studying in Gujarat will be conversant with the local language. The state has taken a cue from most states across India where local language is compulsorily taught in primary schools,” said Chudasama.
The education minister added, “The decision will also help improve the standard of language in the state as it is a matter of grave concern that a large number of local students fail in Gujarati language paper in class X.” It needs mention that on an average 20% of the 10 lakh-odd students who appear for SSC boards have failed in Gujarati language paper in the past few years.
Currently, Gujarati is introduced as a subject from class 5 in English medium schools affiliated with Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) while it is offered as an optional subject in CBSE schools in classes 5-10. In ICSE schools, Gujarati is taught as an optional subject in classes 6-10.
School managements welcomed the move. “We believe that students in Gujarat should learn to read and write Gujarati language. In fact, even in our international school, we teach Gujarati subject in classes 3-8,” said MP Chandran, president of Association of Progressive Schools in Ahmedabad.
President of the Matrubhasha Abhiyaan organization that had sometime back filed a PIL in Gujarat high court seeking promotion of Gujarati language including introducing it as a mandatory subject in primary schools said: “This will help promote the language among not only Gujarati but also non-Gujarati students. We believe that if a child learns mother tongue at the onset of schooling, he or she is able to express herself better. Language is as important as science”.