Malappuram: The state government order making teaching of Malayalam language mandatory up to class 10 in all schools has caused confusion in the Sanskrit and Arabic oriental schools.
Though the government has made it clear that the schools of linguistic minorities like Kannada and Tamil have been exempted from teaching Malayalam, there is no clarity on its implementation in the 42 oriental schools which do not teach Malayalam as a subject, but are Malayalam medium schools. There are 31 Sanskrit and 11 Arabic oriental schools and all of them are run by either government or aided managements.
As per the ordinance, which will come into effect from the next academic session, these schools would also have to teach Malayalam till class 10. At present both the first and second language subjects are either Sanskrit or Arabic respectively in all the oriental schools.
“No order has come clarifying the position about oriental schools. This is a policy issue. The government has to decide which of the language subjects should be changed to Malayalam. Teaching posts have also to be created accordingly,” Mr P. Safarullah, Deputy Director of Education (DDE) in Malappuram, said.
The teachers’ organisations of the oriental schools say that the law would not harm the current form of oriental schools because they are in Malayalam medium.
“Besides English and Arabic or Sanskrit, all other subjects are taught in Malayalam medium in all the Sanskrit and Arabic oriental schools. We want to maintain the status quo,” Mr Naseer Cheruvadi, state president, Oriental School Arabic Teachers Association, said.
Earlier, when the issue of Malayalam language teaching had surfaced, the government had protected the interests of oriental schools on the ground that they were Malayalam medium schools, he said.
Mr C.P. Sanal Chandran, secretary, Kerala Sanskrit Teachers Federation, also shared the same opinion.
“Including the Malayalam language as a subject would affect the basic structure of oriental schools. There is no need to introduce Malayalam here as all the oriental schools follow Malayalam as the medium of instruction and they should be protected as part of our cultural heritage,” he said....