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Is MHRD’s Three Language Formula Really Beneficial For Students?

This has forced at least schools in states such as Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, UP, etc to teach a language that is not exactly applicable in today’s times because they have the infrastructure for it.

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The three language formula has been quite controversial off late. Under the National Education Policy, this policy means that students in Hindi speaking states should learn a modern Indian language (22 languages under the 8th Schedule of the constitution) apart from Hindi and English whereas, in non-Hindi speaking states, they should learn Hindi along with the regional language of the state and English.

Until recently, of all 18,000  CBSE-affiliated schools and institutions were offering the mother tongue, English and a foreign language, be it French, Spanish or German. But now with the three language formula, Sanskrit has automatically become the third language to be taught in schools up to class 10.

This has forced at least schools in states such as Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, UP, etc to teach a language that is not exactly applicable in today’s times because they have the infrastructure for it.

Most private schools in Delhi say that there is no demand for Urdu and Punjabi, thus Sanskrit becomes the automatic choice for students.

In 2015-16, 1,94,801 students opted for Sanskrit, 82,341 students opted for Urdu and 28,612 students opted for Punjabi in Class 6. Sanskrit is taught in about 98 per cent schools, Punjabi is taught in 24% and Urdu in 25 per cent schools. The student teacher ratio for these languages shows that the number of teachers for Urdu is low.

It means that there is about one Sanskrit teacher for 45 students, one Urdu teacher for 96 students and one Punjabi teacher for every 42 students.

But when there is a lack of teachers for regional languages, not much of a choice remains for the students to opt from. The only alternative that remains is Sanskrit due to the availability of Sanskrit teachers in schools.

Due to this three language formula, there is increased burden on students as earlier when they had five subjects to study for, now there are 6 subjects to prepare for.


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