Sunday, July 7, 2019

3 language formula - Chamu Krishna Sastry

 The real issues of Three Language Formula & Draft NEP 2019---
You may find the Draft NEP 2019 at the following link -

I had made several attempts earlier to impress upon the members of NEP Draft Committee as to how Samskrit should be positioned in NEP-2019. But a very few of my suggestions have found the light in the just published Draft NEP 2019. Hence today I made the following submissions to Draft NEP-2019 through email. You too are requested to write to - regarding the same. Unless united efforts are made, it would be difficult for Samskrit to find an appropriate place in NEP 2019.

Simply extolling Samskrit but not providing any meaningful policy solutions is like smoke without fire due to which Samskrit is unnecessarily getting all the criticisms and opposition. This is what has happened to Samskrit in the past and now also. Many, even our own people, are not aware of what the real issues are. Hence many of our friends who love Samskrit make impractical, unwarranted, unimportant and untimely demands. Let us be strategic and focused.

Following are the submissions by Samskrit Promotion Foundation.

1.      Regarding 'Three Language Formula'

1.1  The Three Language Formula, followed since the adoption of the National Policy on Education 1968, and endorsed in the National Policy on Education 1986/1992 as well as the NCF 2005 has two fundamental flaws.

1.1.1.      English, the only language option as a second language in the Formula, is a compulsory language by default. First and third languages have options of mother tongue, regional language or 8th schedule languages, but not second language English. Hence English is the only language compulsorily learnt all over the country till today. Though the Draft NEP 2019, in P4.5.4, elaborately speaks about the dominance of English language in the country and the need to break it – "this power structure of language (English - supplied) must be stopped at the earliest"- a careful study of all the NEPs and NCFs till date including this Draft NEP 2019 suggest that the root cause for English language hegemony in India is English being the only compulsory language in the Three Language Formula. This fact is either not understood or is quietly accepted by the educationists and the people who are at the helm of policy making. We are neither undermining the importance of English nor have any hatred towards English. The question is whether we should make only one language as compulsory. (Further, though a small issue, it is said in P4.5.4 of Draft NEP2019 that – "only about 15% of the country speaks English" but the source for this data is not given. Is it '15% …..speaks English' or '15% …..can speak English'. Both make a lot of difference.)

1.1.2.      The Three Language Formula, which is in force for the last five decades, divides the country on the basis of language. If the linguistic reorganization of States was the first linguistic division of the country, the Three Language Formula was the second. The very basis, the only basis of Three Language Formula is Hindi-speaking States and Non-Hindi-speaking States. Language should engender unity and harmony, not division and hatred. But unfortunately the above mentioned two painful language divisions still rub the wounds time and again. We neither undermine the great need for an Indian Official Language for the Union of India, i.e. Hindi, nor want to hinder Hindi's present natural and faster growth in all the States of India. The question is how best Hindi could be promoted without creating any heart burns.

1.2.       Since today's children and parents are intelligent enough to decide which languages to choose, since making any language compulsory by default or by design would be counter-productive and since there are numerous attractive ways to promote a language to the desired extent, instead of prescribing a set of languages, Draft NEP 2019 should give the freedom to choose "any three languages of 8th Schedule of the Constitution or official languages of the Union of India" as offered in the scheme of studies by the Boards of Secondary Education.

1.3.      Though the NEP and the NCF clearly state that the Three Language Formula should be implemented "till the last year of Secondary Education" i.e. 10th standard, it is not implemented uniformly in the country. The greatest irony is that the MHRD has not taken any steps to implement in toto, the act it got passed in Parliament i.e. NEP and NCF, in the very Boards directly under MHRD. Hence one area in Three Language Formula which is much used and misused and needs to be addressed by Draft NEP 2019 with clear suggestions for implementation is "three languages from which standard to which standard". There were three patterns in implementing Three Language Formula in the country till recent years. 1) From 6th to 10th in most of the State Boards 2) 8th to 10th in a few of the State Boards 3) 6th to 9th in two National Boards under MHRD, i.e. CBSE & NIOS and one private national Board CISCE. Since CBSE is the trend setter in the country and since State Boards have started following CBSE pattern i.e. two languages in 9th & 10th to overcome the unfair disadvantage their students face because of CBSE's two languages in 9th and 10th, only English and mother tongue/regional language find place in 10th Board Exam due to which those students who would like to opt Hindi or Samskrit also are not able to do so, resulting in discontinuation of that language in 11th and 12th and further in UG and PG. If any Indian language is not continued up to 10th Board Exam, the negative impacts of it are many, like – no student takes it seriously unless it is for Board exam, fulltime teacher appointment becomes difficult, further decline of studies of Indian languages in Higher Secondary and Higher Education, etc. Hence Three Language Formula should continue till the last year of Secondary Education, i.e. 10th, irrespective of where it starts.

1.4.      The language policy for Higher Secondary, i.e. 11th and 12th Std., adopted in the National Policy on Education1968, and endorsed in the National Policy on Education 1986/1992 as well as the NCF 2005 is 'two language policy'. While all the State Boards have implemented it in toto and have two languages in 11th and 12th Std., only the three National Boards, CBSE, NIOS and CISCE have not complied with it. They have only one language i.e. English. No Indian language is studied as an optional language! (Offering Indian language as an additional language does not serve the purpose) And now State Boards also want to follow the same. This is one of the root causes for the decline of Indian languages in Universities. Hence Draft NEP2019 should explicitly state the need for two languages in 11th and 12th Std. There again, the students should be given the freedom of choosing any two languages of 8th Schedule of the Constitution or the official languages of the Union of India.

2.           Regarding "Study of Sanskrit and knowledge of its extensive literature" in P4.5.15 -

In the above mentioned P4.5.15, the sentences starting from "Considering the special importance of Sanskrit………" and ending with "Panchatantra stories in ethics classes, etc.)" either may be replaced with the following or in addition to the above the following may be incorporated – The approach would be to promote the study of Samskrit not by relegating it to Samskrit Pathashalas or by isolating it to exclusive Samskrit Universities but by mainstreaming it through integrating Samskrit Knowledge Systems (SKS) along with different modern subject areas. New course books on 'Samskrit for Specific Purpose (SSP)' like 'Samskrit for Yoga', 'Samskrit for Ayurveda', 'Samskrit for Law', etc. will be introduced as electives at Higher Secondary level so that it would help them to excel in UG and PG courses of respective subjects. (In fact one of the main reasons for the decline of Samskrit studies in Ayurveda or for the difficulties of Ayurveda students in studying original Ayurveda texts in Samskrit is that those students do not study Samskrit at plus-two-level since Samskrit is not offered for Science students in many states)

चमू कृष्ण शास्त्री Chamu Krishna Shastry,
न्यासी सचिवः Trustee Secretary,
संस्कृत-संवर्धन-प्रतिष्ठानम् देहली Samskrit Promotion Foundation, Delhi
[08/06, 15:37] +91 93805 90925: 👆🏼 written by one of the founders of Samskrita Bharati, Sri Chamu Krishna Shastri Mahodaya.

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