The Maharashtra government is considering making Marathi language a compulsory subject up to class 10 in CBSE and CISCE schools, Education Minister Vinod Tawde told the Legislative Council today.
Tawde's response came during a discussion on Marathi language on the occasion of 'Marathi Bhasha Gaurav Din'--the birth anniversary of late poet V V Shirwadkar, also known as Kusumagraj.
At present, Marathi is a compulsory subject up to class 8 in schools run by the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), a private board which conduct ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) examination.
Legislative Council chairman Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar moved a resolution recommending the state government to ensure Marathi is valued as a language of knowledge and to take further steps for its development.
Members of the Opposition and ruling benches raised several issues like making Marathi compulsory in CBSE and CISCE schools, according a classical language status to Marathi etc.
BJP MLC Bhai Girkar demanded Marathi be made compulsory till class 12 from the upcoming academic year, which begins in June.
Opposition parties have raised the pitch for Marathi following a goof-up in translating the Maharashtra governor's address to the state legislature yesterday.
Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde (NCP) said there was no full time secretary in the Marathi language department and that 40 per cent posts in the department are lying vacant.
Claiming that the state's official language is being neglected by the government, he said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis speaks in Hindi and English at various public events whereas IAS and IPS officers write their (file) notings in English.
Tawde said, "At present, Marathi is a compulsory subject up to standard 8 in CBSE and ICSE schools. We are considering to make it compulsory up to class 10. However, the decision will be taken by the education board".
He said a delegation comprising prominent litterateurs and leaders of various parties would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue of according a classical language status to the language after the Budget session.