Kerala Government conspiracy to remove Sanskrit from schools

published on August 2, 2010

Sanskrit learning facing tough times
Sajimon P S

ALAPPUZHA: Sanskrit, the country’s ancient and classical language, has been removed from the curriculum of many schools and the State Government has refused to allow Sanskrit as an optional language in the newly allotted higher secondary schools across the state.

Sanskrit, touted as the mother of all languages, is facing a total negligence as the government and aided school managements in the state are failing to encourage the language.

According to reports with the Directorate of Public Instruction (DPI), there were around two lakh students studying Sanskrit in around 3,000 schools.

However, this number has dwindled owing to the lack of support from the State Government and school managements.

According to the DPI, there were around 3,000 Sanskrit teachers working in 2,500 UP schools and 900 high schools in the state. Sanskrit is allowed as optional only in 500 higher secondary schools in the state.

Many schools across the state, which have had Sanskrit as an optional language for many years, have removed the language from their curriculum. Such schools include Thanneermukkom Government Higher Secondary School, Manncherry Government High School and Kakkazham Government High School in Alappuzha and Vechoor Government High School in Kottayam.

Many aided school managements in the state, which recently started English medium and had Sanskrit as an optional language, are not allowing their students to study the language.

Thus, students who studied Sanskrit in their upper primary and high school classes are now unable to continue learning the language.

Though Alappuzha has two schools set up exclusively for Sanskrit, at Muhamma and Vallikunnam, the government is not paying attention to the development of these schools. State Sanskrit special officer Suneethi Devi told Express that the learning of Sanskrit would help the students to increase their knowledge of other languages such as Malayalam and Hindi.

According to Saroja Devi, Sanskrit teacher at St Michael’s Higher Secondary School, Kudavechoor, “Keralites speak a mixture of Malayalam and Sanskrit. We can speak Malayalam well because of the influence of Sanskrit.”

Though many proposals have been submitted by various organisations such as the Sanskrit Teachers Associations for including Sanskrit in the curriculum from the third standard onwards in all the schools in the state, the government has yet to take a concrete decision this regard.

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