Politics

Centre Revises National Education Policy Draft 2019 After Outrage Over 'Hindi Imposition', Revision States 'students Free To Choose Any Language They Want'

Written By Navashree Nandini | Mumbai | Published:

Even as the Opposition in the southern states targeted the centre over the National Education Policy 2019 (NEP 2019) claiming that the central government is imposing Hindi language on the states, the new policy has been revised with no mention of Hindi as a compulsory language in the three-language formula and stating that 'students free to choose any language they want'.

The NEP 2019 released by the Centre is a document 484 pages-long document, in which a sub-section titled 'Implementation of the three-language formula' on page number 83 and 'Flexibility in the three language formula' on page number 84 states that three-language formula would help raise the status of all Indian languages in a 'multilingual country' like India and that the students can change one or more among the three languages in Grade 6 and grade 7.

In fact, it highlighted that the three-language formula 'must be better implemented in certain States, particularly Hindi speaking States; for purposes of national integration' and because it would 'help raise the status of all Indian languages'.

Here is what the National Education Policy 2019 states on the three-language formula:

  • Implementation of the three-language formula: The three-language formula will need to be implemented in its spirit throughout the country, promoting multilingual communicative abilities for a multilingual country. However, it must be better implemented in certain States, particularly Hindi speaking States; for purposes of national integration, schools in Hindi speaking areas should also offer and teach Indian languages from other parts of India. This would help raise the status of all Indian languages, the teachers of such languages, and the literature of such languages, and would open positions and increase opportunities for language teachers across the country; it would of course also truly expand horizons and enlarge the range of opportunities for graduating students. There will be a major effort from both the Central and State governments to invest in large numbers of language teachers in all regional languages around the country, and in particular all Schedule 8 languages. States, especially States from different regions of India, may enter bilateral agreements to hire teachers in large numbers from each other, in order to satisfy the three-language formula in their respective States, and also to encourage the study of Indian languages across the country.

Furthermore, the NEP 2019 states flexibility in the three-language formula, revising its previous take that Hindi will be the third language in non-Hindi speaking states under the trilingual policy:

Flexibility in the three-language formula: In keeping with the principle of flexibility, 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 sometime during secondary school (see P4.9.5). Since the modular Board Examinations for language proficiency will indeed test only for 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. Additional choices of languages would, therefore, be offered in middle school for this purpose of choice and flexibility. In keeping with the principle of flexibility, students who wish to change one or more of 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 sometime during secondary school.

 

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