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From 2018, foreign languages may become fourth or fifth language in schools!

Many parents want their children to learn foreign languages like French or German so that their children are better equipped to participate in an international environment. However, in this whole process, our own Indian languages are ignored. In a bid to promote the Indian languages, the HRD Ministry is believed to have communicated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) that the students who want to learn foreign languages should opt for the subject as a fourth or fifth language. Hence, from 2018, foreign languages may become fourth or fifth languages in schools and may not be part of the three-language formula from the next academic session.

A source from the HRD Ministry further elaborated that ‘the languages which are listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution should be taught under the three language formula, while languages which are ‘purely foreign’ should be taught as a ‘fourth language’ as an elective subject’. The source further added that ‘the consultations are taking place with the CBSE and the changes are likely to be implemented from the next academic session’.

This effectively means that any language which is not purely ‘Indian’ won’t be categorized under the three-language formula in schools from the next academic year. Going forward, the students wanting to opt for German or French will no longer be able to do so from the next academic session, and those wanting to learn foreign languages should opt for them as fourth or fifth language.

The three-language formula under the National Education Policy dictates that students from Hindi-speaking states should learn a modern Indian language, apart from Hindi and English and, in Non-Hindi-speaking states, they should learn Hindi along with the regional language and English.

However, most of the over 18,000 CBSE affiliated schools currently offer the mother tongue or Hindi, English and a foreign language such as German and Mandarin up to Class 8.

Speculations have been rife since last December as to when the new scheme would be implemented when CBSE sent the proposed three-language formula for secondary education to the HRD ministry.

The new proposal has two major distinctions from the CBSE’s current three-language formula that applies till the 8th Standard. Firstly, the proposal extends the scheme to Class 10, and secondly, it removes foreign languages as an option for the students. Under the new scheme, a student would need to take up three Indian languages as listed in the Eight Schedule of the Constitution, one of which could be English.

That was the latest update on the foreign languages becoming a fourth or fifth language for school students. We hope you enjoyed reading this article and benefitted from it.

You can always trust Toppr to keep you abreast on the latest developments in the field of education.

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