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Marathi-medium schools to provide Urdu education

Mumbai: Maharashtra government has decided to introduce Urdu as an optional language in Marathi medium schools all over Maharashtra, where Muslims are in significant numbers with Urdu as their mother tongue. However, for this arrangement the state government does not plan to appoint Urdu teachers specially for teaching Urdu. Rather, Marathi medium schools that want to introduce Urdu as an optional subject or language will have to make a tie-up arrangement with Urdu medium schools so that teachers from those (Urdu medium) schools may go to these schools and teach Urdu to students, according to a senior officer of State School Education. As per the existing system in Mahrashtra, students of Marathi medium schools can learn only Marathi, Hindi and English till class VIII. From IX class, the students can choose optional languages from a list of languages including Urdu. But in this way many non-Marathi students, particularly Urdu students do not get the needed, official education of their own language, he said. Hence the state government has decided to offer Urdu language as a subject right from 6th class in Marathi medium schools run by zila parishads and municipal corporations subject to the condition that there are at least 5 students in each school who opt for Urdu. On an experimental basis the state government will introduce this scheme or option in about a hundred schools in the current academic year which are concentrated in areas with a significant population of Urdu speaking people and with the presence of Urdu medium schools. The govt has asked all primary education officials to send a list of such schools to the government after getting the lists certified by the Directorate of Primary Education and the state’s Education Commisisoner’s office. As per a report by Tata Institute of Social Sciences, of the total number of schools in Maharashtra, 83.3 percent are Marathi medium schools, 9.6 percent are English medium and 4.7 percent are Urdu medium Schools.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 August 2016 on page no. 13

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