Madurai

Universities sidelining French studies: expert

Madurai Kamaraj University Registrar M. Rajiakodi (left) releasing souvenir of Sixth International Congress of Association of Indian Teachers of French (AITF) in Madurai on Thusday. Liliane Ramarosoa, Director, Indian Ocean, Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie,Vietnam, receiving first copy. K. Madanagobalane, president of AITF, is in the picture. Photo: R. Ashok

Madurai Kamaraj University Registrar M. Rajiakodi (left) releasing souvenir of Sixth International Congress of Association of Indian Teachers of French (AITF) in Madurai on Thusday. Liliane Ramarosoa, Director, Indian Ocean, Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie,Vietnam, receiving first copy. K. Madanagobalane, president of AITF, is in the picture. Photo: R. Ashok   | Photo Credit: R_Ashok

Teachers from 25 countries and across the nation taking part in meet to discuss issues facing the language

French studies in India was facing problems with some universities trying to relegate it to the status of a third language besides making it optional, said K. Madanagobalane, president of Association of Indian Teachers of French (AITF).

Such a move could have a serious impact on thousands of students depriving them of the opportunities available in the field of foreign languages, especially French, he said and called for coordination between policy makers and teachers who should champion the cause of foreign languages and bring about a consensus that would retain the scope offered.

Dr. Madanagobalan was addressing the inaugural function of the four-day sixth International Congress of AITF on ‘Etudes Francophones: Enjeux et Perspectives' (Francophone studies: issues and perspectives), being conducted in association with the Department of French, Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU), here on Thursday, French teachers from over 25 countries and from various parts of the country are taking part in the meet.

In the backdrop of globalisation and meteoric advancements in technology, knowledge of foreign language provided lucrative job opportunities and as such, there was a diminishing interest in doing higher studies in French in the universities.

He also had harsh words for the present education system which, he said, was producing only vulnerable machines out of youth rather than sustaining curiosity in their minds.

Educational institutions had become pressure points building pressure in the minds of youth.

Also, a lopsided educational pattern that insisted on instrumental and technical rationality for successful life in terms of gaining money and power had invaded the educational system of India, said Prof. Madanagobalane.

Set up in 1970

Tracing the history of French Department of the MKU, its Registrar M. Rajiakodi said that it was established in 1970 and offered postgraduate and research programmes. It was also equipped with an audio-visual room, he said, adding that several of its students had found placements through the French Embassy.

Prof. Singaravelou, former Vice-Chancellor of Michel De Montaigne, Bordeaux, France; Olivier Garro, Director (Asia Pacific), Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, Vietnam; Liliane Ramarosoa, Director (Indian Ocean), Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, Madagascar; Prof. R. Kichenamourty, founder of AITF; Prof. R. Venguattaramane, Dean of Colleges, Pondicherry University and General Secretary of AITF; and Marie Pierre Augustin, Head, Department of French, MKU, spoke.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 10:35:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/universities-sidelining-french-studies-expert/article2902987.ece

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