Nagpur: Education minister Vinod Tawde on Thursday reiterated that strict action would be taken against private schools affiliated to other boards that are not teaching Marathi language till Class VII. The minister also said that the education department was still working on making Science and English optional from Class IX in state board schools. He was speaking during an interaction with school kids organized at Saraswati Vidyalaya.
Students from several schools took part in the function where the inquisitive kids posed various questions to Tawde. Some students pointed out to Tawde that the number of admissions in Marathi medium schools were falling, while on the other hand, CBSE and ICSE schools, where English is first language, were not serious about propagation of the language. He told them that in case such are brought to the government’s notice, strict action would be taken. Tawde also said that teaching of Marathi language was already mandatory for these private schools.
Regarding the contentious issue of making Science and Maths optional for Class IX students, Tawde assured that deliberations were still on if these subjects were becoming burden on students who are more interested in Arts. “A policy on this would be implemented in a year or two by the education department,” he said. The move has faced sharp criticism from several quarters following which it has been put on back burner by the education ministry.
In September 2016, the school education minister had created a stir by talking on the possibility of making English and Mathematics optional. But subject experts had opined that the perception of English, Mathematics or Science being ‘killer subjects’ were misplaced. When asked about implementation of Marathi language in CBSE and ICSE schools, a principal said they were already following the state government’s directives and there was no dereliction in fulfilling it. “All CBSE schools are teaching Marathi language from Class I to IV along with Hindi.
From Class V onwards, it becomes the third optional language with Sanskrit. As far as I am concerned, ICSE schools too are offering in the same format and there is no deviation,” the principal said. Besides this, Tawde spoke about recruitment of teachers in schools and colleges. He said the finance department has approved the education department’s proposal to appoint 4,500 professors. He added that 16,000 surplus teachers have been accommodated in different schools while only 2200 are remaining.