Sanskrit teachers oppose KVS move to introduce foreign languages

A group of Sanskrit scholars has approached the Delhi High Court against a circular issued by the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan, which allows students to study foreign languages such as German, French or Chinese instead of Sanskrit, as third language.

The KVS had issued a circular in 2010, directing Kendriya Vidyalayas all over the country to introduce foreign languages in place of Sanskrit as third language from the academic session 2011-12 in classes VI-VIII.

The PIL filed by the Sanskrit Shikshak Sangh, an umbrella body of teachers and scholars of the language, claims that the move not only violates the National Education Policy and the Three Language Formula of 1988, but would also do "irreparable damage to Sanskrit language and Indian culture."

The Three Language Formula prescribes teaching English, one regional language, and one language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. In Delhi, most schools offer Hindi, English and one 'modern Indian language' or Sanskrit.

Speaking to Newsline, Sanskrit Shikshak Sangathan General Secretary Dr V Dayalu said the organisation had exhausted all avenues before approaching the court. "We had sent representations to the KVS, sent letters to the HRD ministry, we even had the question raised in Parliament by some MPs, but the HRD ministry did not take any action. If the language dies out, Indian culture will be destroyed," said Dayalu.

Arguing before the High Court bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Jayant Nath, advocate Monika Arora told the court that the circular issued by the KVS in2010 was also against the provision of the Right to Education Act since it called for training of the existing TGT language teachers in the languages so that they could eventually teach the foreign languages to the students of classes VI to VIII. "The eligibility criteria for teachers are also being violated," Arora said.

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