Compulsory Hindi in CBSE schools draws flak

By Naomi N Published on Apr 21, 2017 07:58 PM IST

Chennai: The announcement of the Central government that students of schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) have to compulsorily study Hindi till class 10 is drawing flak not just from politicians but also educationists of the State.

In Tamilnadu, there are around 600 CBSE schools.

Speaking to News Today, Secretary of State Platform for Common School System in Tamilnadu, Prince Gajendra Babu, said, "The intention is to develop Indian languages. But it seems they are promoting just one language, which is not going to help a child in educational progress. S/he has to learn a language of their own choice. Who knows if this would not be slowly imposed on State schools also? It is important that the students prioritise their mother tongue."

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has also been instructed to form a policy in consultation with the State governments to make the language compulsory.

"The HRD Ministry should take serious efforts to make Hindi language compulsory in curriculum. As a first step, Hindi should be made a compulsory subject up to standard 10 in all schools of CBSE and Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan," the presidential order said.

With the State government emphasising on Tamil and the Centre lobbying for Hindi, many feel this leaves the students at a disadvantage.

Many students from State syllabus background, who wish to join a CBSE school for the benefit of clearing NEET exam, are now left in the lurch. CEO of Christwood School, S Alfred Devaprasad, who has been an expert in the field of education for two decades, commented, "Education in India is moving towards a global platform: making Hindi compulsory is a backward move. Instead of making such regulations, schools must be given the freedom to have accreditation-based working methodology. The schools must have freedom. The language policies have to change."

CBSE, as on February, had under its wings 18,546 schools in India and 210 schools in 25 foreign countries. There are 1,117 Kendriya Vidyalya schools, 2,685 government / aided schools, 14,141 independent schools, 589 Jawahar Novodaya Vidyalayas and 14 Central Tibetan Schools, as per the board’s website.