Maharashtra govt makes Marathi compulsory in all schools

The Maha Vikas Aghadi government, on Monday, issued a notification making Marathi compulsory in Standard 1 and Standard 6 in the academic year 2020-21, Standard 2 and Standard 7 in 2021-22, Standard 3 and Standard 8 in 2022-23, Standard 4 and Standard 9 in 2023-24 and Standard 5 and Standard 10 in 2024-25 in schools belonging to different mediums and education boards in Maharashtra.

The law making the language Marathi as a mandatory subject was unanimously passed by both the houses of the legislature in February during the budget session. The Maharashtra Compulsory Teaching and Learning of Marathi Language in Schools Act, 2020, will be applicable to all boards, including CBSE, CISCE, IB, IGSCE and NIOS.

Minister of School Education Varsha Gaikwad, in her tweet on Monday, said that the government has issued a notification to make Marathi compulsory in schools belonging to different mediums and education boards in Maharashtra. The law has been crafted on the lines of the laws in Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, and it makes teaching and studying Marathi compulsory in all schools (irrespective of the board to which they are affiliated).

Along with the Minister of Marathi Language Subhash Desai, Gaikwad held a video conference on May 12 with the senior officials of the School Education Department, Marathi Language Department and Balbharti as well as the chairman of the Minorities Commission.

Gaikwad was informed that a meeting of field officers was conducted to enforce the law and a task force was set up to prepare the rules.

The law states that no restrictions shall be imposed on speaking Marathi in the schools in the state, directly or indirectly. Teaching Marathi and assessing students in the language will be a mandatory condition for granting the government’s no-objection certificate for schools. Further, the person responsible for the management of school affairs violating the provisions of the law shall be liable to pay a penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh.

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