Malayalam made compulsory till class 10 in Kerala schools by state government (File)
Malayalam has been made compulsory till class 10 in Kerala schools after the state government cleared an executive order on Tuesday. The ordinance will come into effect from the next academic session and schools that do not comply will be penalised.
The Pinarayi Vijayan government's order, however, leaves aside students who do not belong to Kerala.
Also, a fine of Rs. 5,000 will be imposed on schools if they are found forcing children to learn English or restricting the usage of Malayalam among students. Schools will not be allowed to have 'speak in English' boards anymore and the executive order will be applicable to all education boards, including CBSE.
Besides schools, the order also makes it compulsory for Malayalam to be the mode of official communication in any government office.
In 2011, the previous United Democratic Front (UDF) government led by Oommen Chandy made Malayalam compulsory in all schools. But the High Court had set it aside, after it was argued that students from other states also studied in schools in Kerala.
The Left Front has always advocated learning through mother tongue. Back in the 1970s, the government of Jyoti Basu had drawn much criticism when it made Bengali compulsory and banished English from primary section in Bengal.
Recently, the Central Board of Secondary Education, or CBSE, decided to recommend that the three-language formula be continued till the board exams. This would mean that the students currently studying Sanskrit till class 8 will have to study it for another two years and then sit for board exams in the subject.