Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan writes to Andhra, Jharkhand CMs for promotion of Odia language  

Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said steps should be taken to promote Odia language in Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh as per the values enshrined in National Education Policy-2020.

Published: 02nd October 2021 08:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd October 2021 08:28 AM   |  A+A-

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan (File Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday, October 1, 2021, expressed concern over the neglect of Odia school children in Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh and sought the personal intervention of chief ministers of the neighbouring states to correct the situation. In separate letters to the chief ministers of the two states, the Union Minister said that steps should be initiated to promote Odia language as per the values enshrined in the National Education Policy-2020.

Stating that requisite support is not being extended to students of Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam districts to learn Odia, he said in his letter to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy that in Odisha support is extended to students opting to learn Telugu as a language subject in schools, and teachers are also recruited for the same. “A similar support to Odia minority students in Andhra Pradesh is the need of the hour,” he added.

The Union Minister said that Andhra Pradesh is yet to supply textbooks to the Odia medium students in Class X even though schools have reopened in the state. Stating that Srikakulam district has many Odia students in high schools who have not received Odia books for the current academic year, Pradhan said that this will adversely affect education of the Odia minority students in Andhra Pradesh and the cause of maintenance of linguistic diversity in the State.

There is a need for building an enabling environment to facilitate learning of the Odia speaking students, he said and requested Reddy to promote Odia language in the schools of border villages. He also asked Reddy for recruitment of Odia teachers in the border schools and timely supply of textbooks to the students. “The Centre and my ministry remain committed to the cause of a peaceful resolution of any such dispute and personally, I will be happy to be of help in facilitating the process of mutual settlement of the issues,” he added.

In his letter to Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, Pradhan said that the state education department has started merging Odia medium schools with Hindi medium schools in areas with substantial Odia speaking people. “This step, citing availability of a low number of Odia speaking students and staff as possible reasons, is clearly against the spirit of promotion of linguistic diversity and rights of linguistic minorities enshrined in our Constitution,” he added.

Besides, textbooks for Odia speaking Jharkhand students have not been made available in all subjects since 2006-07 which forces Odia speaking students to drop the language subject and opt for Hindi, he said and added that grant-in-aid/fellowship in Odia language has almost been abolished. Pradhan said that steps should be taken to support Odia language education in Jharkhand and address the issues. 

Meanwhile, Odisha School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash on Friday wrote to his Jharkhand counterpart Jagarnath Mahato seeking his intervention for reinstating Odia language in the primary school teachers training entrance exam module. The Jharkhand Staff Selection Commission had in an advertisement for appointment of teachers on September 30 informed that Odia language has been excluded from 7th paper of primary school teachers training entrance exam module. 


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