English no longer mandatory for higher secondary students in Maharashtra

English has been classified as a foreign language alongside German, French, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Persian, and Arabic.

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Courtesy: Freepik

The Maharashtra government has announced plans to offer English as an optional subject for students in classes 11 and 12. According to a draft curriculum prepared by the State Council for Education, Research and Training (SCERT), English will be classified as a foreign language and will no longer be mandatory for these classes.

Current Status and Proposed Structure

Presently, English is a compulsory subject for both classes 11 and 12. The draft curriculum, however, recommends that students study eight subjects during these years: two languages, four elective subjects, and two compulsory subjects. Among the two languages, one must be chosen from a group of 17 Indian languages, which includes Marathi, Sanskrit, Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Sindhi, Bengali, Punjabi, Pali, Telugu, Ardhamagadhi, Maharashtri Prakrit, and Avesta-Pahalvi.

Foreign Language Options

English will be categorised as a foreign language, alongside German, French, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese, Persian, and Arabic. Students will be required to select one language from the Indian language group mandatorily. The second language could be either from the Indian language group or the foreign language group, making English a non-compulsory choice.

Public Feedback and finalisation

The SCERT has published the draft curriculum on its official website, inviting suggestions from stakeholders until June 3. The final curriculum will be published after considering the feedback received from the public.

Incorporating Indian Knowledge Systems

In addition to these changes, the draft curriculum also proposes the inclusion of Indian Knowledge Systems. This initiative aims to integrate ancient Indian historical references into modern education. Courses on Indian Knowledge Systems are expected to be introduced starting from class 6.