Malayalam made compulsory in Kerala schools from classes 1 to 10

Anish Jacob

Thiruvananthapuram: The government has drafted the rules of the law that makes Malayalam a compulsory subject in all schools in the state from classes 1 to 10. Though the Malayalam Language Bill was sanctioned by the governor and passed on June 1, 2017, it was not imposed in the previous academic year as the rules were not drafted.

As the Assembly Subject Committee has approved the rules, the law will came into force from this academic year which starts in June. The law directs that all schools including CBSE, ICSE, other central syllabus schools, linguistic minority schools and oriental schools should make Malayalam a mandatory subject in curriculum. The Director of Public Instruction has to ensure proper implementation of the law.

An inspection will be staged in the commencement of every academic year to check if Malayalam is taught in the schools. A panel comprising education officers and representatives of Malayalam teachers of government and aided schools will initiate the inspection. The deputy directors of public instruction will re-inspect certain percent of schools. The textbook prepared by SCERT only should be taught in schools. Also an examination will be conducted for assessment.

Special book for linguistic minority

As per the present curriculum, Malayalam is not mandatory in linguistic minority schools and oriental schools. SCERT will prepare special textbooks for these schools and exam will be conducted. The students from other states and foreign countries also have to study Malayalam compulsorily. They will be provided with specially prepared textbooks. But exam is not compulsory for them.

Fine for not teaching Malayalam

If no arrangements are made for teaching Malayalam, the headmaster of the school will be charged with a penalty of Rs 5000, which will be deducted from their salary. Otherwise, it will be charged like the outstanding amount of land tax.

If an unaided school does not teach Malayalam, the accredition of the school will be cancelled on the third time they violate the law. In case of CBSE and ICSE schools, the No Objection Certificate granted by the government will be cancelled. The action will be taken after issuing a notice to the headmaster and management.

Scholarships for all schools

Scholarships will be granted for encouraging Malayalam language learning. Those who excel in Malayalam in class 10 will be granted a scholarship for the next two years to study Malayalam. Five percent Malayalam students of every school will be provided scholarships.

Special officers should be assigned

R. Nandakumar, the founder member of the Aikya Malayala Prasthanam, said that the formation of Malayalam language law and its implementation are welcome. It is better to assign a special officer to implement the law, which would have speed up the observation and coordination of the enforcement of the law, he added.

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