With less than a month to go for the new academic year to begin, CBSE schools in Kerala are gearing up to implement the state government's order that Malayalam must be compulsorily taught till Class 10.
While the Kerala CBSE School Management Association had previously expressed concern over the government's order, the association told TNM that they will comply by the order, but with a twist.
The CBSE schools will now teach Malayalam in Class 9 and Class 10, but this will not be a 'marked subject'. This means that while the subject will be taught to the students, no evaluation will take place.
Association President Ibrahim Khan said that they are set to approach the General Education department asking for clarification of its order.
"Till Class 8, we are following a three-language system where students are taught English, Malayalam and Hindi. From Class 9, we follow a two-language system where they can choose between Hindi and Malayalam. We will obey the government's order of teaching Malayalam in Class 9 and 10, but this will not be part of the curriculum. Our curriculum is prescribed by the CBSE, according to which, the two language system will continue till 2020. It is not in the capacity of individual schools to conduct examinations outside of the CBSE's guidelines and no state government can dictate to the CBSE to do so," Ibrahim explained.
He said that while all Malayali students will be taught Malayalam in Class 9 and 10, this will not be part of the curriculum. "As far as students belonging to other states are concerned, they should enjoy the privileges given to students of linguistic minority. Some students in Kasargod are allowed to study Kannada and some others in Idukki are allowed to study Tamil instead of Malayalam. This facility must be extended to students who want to study French or any other language," Ibrahim said.
By doing so, the CBSE schools are honouring and obeying the state government's order, Ibrahim asserted. However, with the state government only mandating "teaching" Malayalam, not making the subject part of the curriculum is a desirable solution, he said.
Dr Usha Titus, General Secretary of Department of General Education confirmed to TNM that the department's order mandates "teaching" Malayalam.
However, the only proof of a subject being taught is by conducting evaluation of the students, she maintained.
"As for now, the rule is to teach Malayalam and it does not talk about the evaluation part at all. It is important to note that the government is yet to formulate the entire law. And the evaluation part will be addressed when the rules are framed in due course," Dr Usha said.
According to her, a subject committee meet is scheduled for Wednesday, in which matters including the implementation will be discussed.
Regarding the conduct of examinations, Dr Usha said: "We do not expect the CBSE to conduct board exams for Malayalam in Class 9 and 10. Moreover, for CBSE schools, the board only comes into picture from Class 9 onwards. Till then, internal examinations are conducted. Similarly, the subject committee will look into it and check the feasibility of schools formulating their own evaluation process."