Tamil Nadu

Tamil to be made compulsory in TN schools

Tamil will be a compulsory language for all schools in Tamil Nadu from the next academic year, according to a recent Government notification. File photo: B. Velankanni Raj

Tamil will be a compulsory language for all schools in Tamil Nadu from the next academic year, according to a recent Government notification. File photo: B. Velankanni Raj  

Central government schools such as Kendriya Vidyalayas and Sainik schools are, however, exempted.

Tamil will be a compulsory subject in schools affiliated to various boards of education in the State from the next academic year.

A Government Order of September 18 has brought all schools under the purview of the Tamil Nadu Tamil Learning Act, 2006.

The Act already includes State Board and Matriculation schools. However, the government order exempts Kendriya Vidyalayas, Sainik schools and Navodaya Vidyalayas which come under the “specified category” as per the Right to Education Act.

A school education department official said that the order would include CBSE, ICSE schools and would be implemented from the next academic year in a phased manner. The schools would have to introduce Tamil for class I from 2015-16, and scale it up to class X by 2024-25, according to the order.

CBSE schools in the city, however, have reacted with caution.

V. Venkatachalam, Dean, Vels Group of Schools, said parents who had transferable jobs preferred the CBSE schools for their children. “When they move to another State, they can admit their children to a CBSE school there.

These students will now be affected other than those who come here in an intermediate class and do not know Tamil,” he said.

A CBSE principal said the Tamil must be taught, but modalities of implementing the order needed to be discussed. “Schools will have to discuss among themselves and with parents. One of the options is that it can be introduced as a third language from Class I,” he said.

Language policy in schools has been a point of contention in Karnataka with the Supreme Court quashing a government order seeking to implement Kannada as medium of instruction in primary schools.

In its judgement, the Supreme Court said the Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution included the child’s freedom to be educated in the primary stage of school in a language of its choice.

The State could not impose controls on such choice just because it thought it would be beneficial for the child if it was taught in its mother tongue.

The Supreme Court, therefore, held that a child or on its behalf its parent or guardian had the freedom of choice with regard to medium of instruction in primary schools.

Educationist Prince Gajendra Babu said there was a distinction between the two. “While Kannada was sought to be implemented as a medium of instruction, the Tamil Learning Act makes Tamil a compulsory subject,” he said.

As per the Act, from 2006-07, State Board and Matriculation schools, including minority schools, had to teach Tamil as a compulsory subject from Class I in a phased manner, gradually scaling it up to Class X.

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2020 8:42:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-to-be-a-compulsory-language-in-tn-schools/article6449092.ece

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