English No Longer Compulsory for Std XI and XII in Maharashtra Schools

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Pune, 24th May 2024: In a significant change, students in Std XI and XII in Maharashtra will no longer be required to study English as a compulsory subject starting from the upcoming academic year. Instead, they will have the option to choose two languages, one Indian and one from a selection of Indian and foreign languages, if they wish to study an additional language in these classes.


The State Council of Education Research and Training (SCERT) introduced this relaxation in the State Curriculum Framework (SCF), departing from the tradition of English being compulsory from Stds I to XII.


The draft for school education in Maharashtra, released by SCERT on Wednesday, is open for suggestions from all stakeholders.


Kamaladevi Awate, in charge of SCF at SCERT, emphasized the rich multilingual heritage of India and Maharashtra, which is given significant importance in this state curriculum framework.


“Students are encouraged to study two Indian languages and one foreign language until the age of 15. Additionally, all students up to Std XII are encouraged to receive education in Marathi language. The language of instruction used in schools will be the first language and most familiar to the student,” she explained.


The SCF advocates for experiential learning and teaching methods to develop effective communication, discussion, and writing skills in languages. It emphasizes exposure to all literary genres in prose and poetry, both ancient and modern, and aims to provide lifelong enrichment through reading, speaking, conversation, and writing.


Awate highlighted the goal of the national curriculum framework, which aims for every student to learn three languages. She noted that multilingualism enhances communication, cultural richness, and the development of diverse cognitive abilities.


“Students will learn three languages during their school life, with Sanskrit also being an option among these three languages, allowing students to connect with Indian traditions,” she added.


An education expert who has worked with the state government’s academic department commented on the inclusion of language dialects in the framework: “The NEP 2020 and the State Curriculum Framework do not differentiate between language and its dialects. While dialects have rich oral traditions, they lack written resources. Developing written resources in dialects is complex and challenging.”