Illustration of stories published in Mathrubhumi to sensitize about relevance of Malayalam
Thiruvananthapuram: According to the announcement of Kerala Education Minister V Sivankutty in Kerala Assembly, Malayalam alphabets will resurface again in school textbooks. The move comes in the campaign against avoiding Malayalam alphabets in the text books readied by the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT Kerala). Notably, Mathrubhumi among others were in forefront to kick-start the debate over the missing alphabets in the textbooks and in turn it strived for the sustenance of Malayalam language.
Sivankutty on November 8 said in the Assembly that not teaching Malayalam through textbooks is a grave concern. “Alphabets will be included in the text books. The non inclusion of alphabets in the text book will be probed,” the minister announced. Was the omission of Malayalam alphabets done intentionally will also be examined. “The books are being prepared by SCERT. What lead to removal of Malayalam alphabets is unknown. It will be probed and rectified. The schools involved in not teaching Malayalam intentionally will also be examined,” he added.
MN Karassery, a renowned social critic and activist, had initiated a debate called ‘Mayarathu Malayalam’ (Malayalam should not vanish) through Mathrubhumi. Many linguistic experts and linguaphiles took it up and gave a momentum. Notably, it was Government Chief Whip Dr N Jayaraj who brought the matter to the attention of the Kerala Assembly while discussing on the education policy amendment. He pointed out that Malayalam text books does not have Malayalam alphabets and kids are not taught to be equipped. Pertinently, since 12 years, even in the text books used by Malayalam medium schools the Malayalam alphabets were missing. The syllabus reformation in the year 2009 lead to avoidance of Malayalam.
On November 1 Kerala Day, Mathrubhumi had published a column titled ‘Vidhyabyasya Manthri Vaayichariyan’ about relevance of Malayalam. The text was read by Malayali crowd across the globe and it sparked a debate. This was taken up by many other intellectuals and activists. It also led to discussions on social media. Mathrubhumi also received responses from public about the matter.
Meanwhile, Sivankutty after the announcement in the assembly, called up and informed Karassery about the decision. In response, Karrasery opined that the measure is exemplary. He also lauded Mathrubhumi’s efforts in bringing the issue to the attention of the public.