- Compulsory Malayalam language confuses oriental schools in Kerala
- There are 31 Sanskrit and 11 Arabic schools
The law passed by the state government of Kerala to make Malayalam as a cumpolsary language till class 10 in schools has come as a surprise for oriental schools. This has complicated the prevailing academic structure that allows oriental schools to continue their curriculum in Malayalam, but not teach the language as a subject. The present directive, however, has excluded linguistic minorities like Kannada and Tamil from teaching Malayalam. However, the destiny of 42 oriental schools- 31 Sanskrit and 11 Arabic- is unclear. All these schools are run by either government or aided managements. As per the new ordinance, these schools will now have to include Malayalam as a language, apart from Sanskrit and Arabic as their first and second languages.
P. Safarullah, Deputy Director of Education (DDE) in Malappuram said, "No order has come clarifying the position about oriental schools. This is a policy issue. The government has to decide which of the language subjects should be changed to Malayalam. Teaching posts have also to be created accordingly."
The teachers’ organisations of the oriental schools, however, are of a different opinion. According to them, the law will not interfere with the present curriculum as the medium of instruction in these schools is Malayalam. Naseer Cheruvadi, state president, Oriental School Arabic Teachers Association, emphasised, "Besides English and Arabic or Sanskrit, all other subjects are taught in Malayalam medium in all the Sanskrit and Arabic oriental schools. We want to maintain the status quo."
The change that was issued earlier had not interfered with the basic structure, rued many teachers in the oriental schools. "And it may not still," opines C.P. Sanal Chandran, secretary, Kerala Sanskrit Teachers Federation. He further added, "including the Malayalam language as a subject would affect the basic structure of oriental schools. There is no need to introduce Malayalam here as all the oriental schools follow Malayalam as the medium of instruction and they should be protected as part of our cultural heritage."
Last Updated 6:35 PM IST