Marathi to be mandatory in all state schools: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis

Mumbai: In an attempt to give Marathi language its pre-eminent status, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has declared that the language will be compulsory in all schools in the state, including those affiliated to ICSE and CBSE. Fadnavis informed the legislative council that there is already a provision for teaching Marathi in schools attached to non-State ed-ucation boards. "Despite this, if there are still some schools which are not teaching Marathi, we will have to initiate action ag-ainst them," the chief minister said. If need be, the existing law would be amended to ensure that Marathi is taught in all schools in the State, Fadnavis said.

Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gorhe had raised the issue of propagation of the Marathi language during the assembly session. Currently, CBSE and ICSE board schools have Marathi as an optional subject. An ICSE teacher said, “Students can decide whether they want to study Marathi, as it is an optional subject. Students often opt for a foreign language as they wish to pursue higher studies abroad.”

Marathi is a compulsory subject up to Class 8 in schools run by the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), a private board which conducts the ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) examination.

The CM gave the assurance in view of an upcoming agitation by Marathi litterateurs. Prominent Marathi literary personalities, including those from the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan, have announced a major protest in Azad Maidan, on June 24 to demand stringent rules to enforce teaching of the state's main language in all schools, on the lines of that in Tamil Nadu and Telangana.Other demands include constructing a 'Marathi Bhavan' in Mumbai, preparing a master-plan to ensure Marathi schools in the state don't shut down, and meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to get Marathi declared as a "classical language".

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