Three-language formula not implemented effectively: MHA

Implementation of the Centre’s Three-Language Formula for schools all over the country has been uneven owing to various interpretations of the formula by different States.

In a written answer, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju has informed the Lok Sabha that the formula has not been implemented effectively. It was to be applied in consultation with or by the State Government.

“All the States, except Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and Tripura, have implemented the Three-Language formula and three languages viz. Hindi, English and State official language are taught in the schools of these States. Hindi is not taught in the States of Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Puducherry,” he said.  

In many States, it has been adopted as 3+/-1 formula, and for the speaker of (linguistic) minority languages it has become a four-language formula as they have to learn their mother tongue, the dominant regional language, English and Hindi. “In many of the Hindi speaking States Sanskrit became the third language instead of any modern regional language (preferably South Indian language), whereas the non-Hindi speaking State like Tamil Nadu operates through a two-language formula (Tamil and English),” said Mr. Rijiju.

The Union Minister said some boards/institutions permit even foreign languages such as Spanish, French and German in place of Hindi or Sanskrit. “Only some States accepted the three-language formula in principle while others made some adjustments and changes to an extent that it became impossible to implement it,” he said.

Listing the reasons for ineffective implementation, Mr. Rijiju said southern States like Puducherry and Tamil Nadu besides Tripura were not ready to teach Hindi and Hindi-speaking States did not include any South Indian language in their school curriculum.

Among the other causes are the fear of heavy language load in the school curriculum; all the languages are not being taught compulsorily at the secondary stage; duration for compulsory study of three languages varies; and the States, most often, do not have adequate resources for provision of additional language teachers and teaching-learning materials.

The Three-Language Formula was devised in the Chief Ministers’ conferences in 1961. It was recommended by the 1968 policy under which the first language to be studied must be the mother tongue or the regional language; the second one in Hindi-speaking States would be some other modern Indian language or English, and in non-Hindi speaking States it would be Hindi or English.

The third language in Hindi-speaking States would be English or a modern Indian language not studied as the second language, and in non-Hindi speaking States, it would be English or a modern Indian language not studied as the second language.

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Printable version | May 14, 2022 9:18:48 am |