THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Malayalam has been made compulsory up to Class X in all schools in the state from the next academic year.
The state government has issued an ordinance in this regard. Accordingly, headmasters of schools violating the norms will have to pay a fine of Rs 5,000. Also, the government can cancel the recognition of these schools.
“The Malayalam Language (Compulsory Language) Bill 2017 makes the language compulsory in all schools, irrespective of the syllabus followed. Teaching the mother tongue has been made compulsory in government, aided, unaided and self-financing schools and schools following state, CBSE and ICSE syllabus,” said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
If there are schools following any other syllabus, the decision would be applicable to them also.
Earlier, the government had planned to make Malayalam mandatory in schools up to the higher secondary level. However, it was modified to class 10 considering practical difficulties in implementation.
As per the ordinance, there should not be any kind of ban - direct or indirect - on speaking Malayalam in schools. Similarly, no boards/ notices/campaigns should be displayed instructing only a specific language should be spoken.
Compulsory learning of Malayalam has been made mandatory for issuing NOC to schools under CBSE or ICSE boards. The government has also decided to cancel the NOC of schools that refuse to teach Malayalam.
The ordinance has made teaching Malayalam compulsory for recognition to unaided schools as per the Kerala Education Rules.
If students from other states or abroad - pursuing education here - are not able to learn Malayalam as per the system, they have been exempted from studying the language in class 10. Also, if students belonging to the linguistic minority groups wish to learn Malayalam, necessary support will be given.
The draft of the ordinance was cleared by a special cabinet on Monday. The ordinance received the Governor’s nod on the same day. The Cabinet decision was to make a move ahead of the Assembly session considering its urgent nature.