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Punjab Makes Studying Punjabi Compulsory from Classes 1 to 10

Punjabi has been made compulsory in schools to promote mother tongue. (Representative image)

Punjabi has been made compulsory in schools to promote mother tongue. (Representative image)

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit S Channi announced that schools in the state which do not make Punjabi a compulsory language will face a fine of up to Rs 2 lakh.

The Punjab government has made Punjabi a compulsory subject for students of classes 1 to 10. Schools that do not comply will face a fine of up to two lakh rupees. The state Chief Minister Charanjit S Channi announced the same adding that language is being made mandatory to promote mother tongue.

“Punjabi language has been made compulsory in Punjab from 1st to 10th class. Failure by any school to comply will result in a fine of up to Rs 2 lakh. Punjabi language has also been made compulsory in the offices and Punjabi language will be written at the top of every board in the state.”  he tweeted.

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“To promote mother tongue, Punjabi has been made a compulsory subject for all students from class I to X in Punjab. Schools to be fined up to 2 lakh for violation. Now, #Punjabi is mandatory in offices. Also, Punjabi will be written on top of all the boards in the state,” Channi added.

Earlier, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) had separated its board exam subjects into two categories — major and minor. All the language subjects including Punjabi was put under the minor section for the term 1 board exams 2022. This did not go down well with the Punjab government. CM Channi took to Twitter to express his disappointment.

He tweeted, “I firmly oppose the CBSE’s authoritarian decision to keep Punjabi out of the main subjects. This is against the federal spirit of the Constitution, violating the right of Punjabi youth to learn their native language. I condemn this biased exclusion of Punjabi.”

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While Punjab’s education and higher education and languages minister Pargat Singh termed it as “unfortunate” and appealed to the central board to reconsider its decision.

The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 too suggested focussing on local languages so that those students who are from the regional background are not left behind. Despite government efforts, English is still a preferred medium for most students as there is a lack of content in local languages as well as fewer career options, several students claim. The NEP 2020, however, states that the medium of instruction at least till class 5 must be in regional language.

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first published:November 22, 2021, 14:35 IST