Pune: Lamenting that many students can not read and write Marathi, Maharashtra deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said on Friday that the government was thinking of making Marathi compulsory in all schools till class 10.
He was speaking at a felicitation program at Baramati, his Assembly constituency. "The number of children studying in English-medium schools is increasing and they speak very good English. But they are not able to read and write Marathi properly," the NCP leader said.
"Very soon we are going to take up one issue, and that is to make Marathi a compulsory subject in schools, be it Urdu-medium, Hindi-medium or English-medium, from class 1 to Class 10," Pawar said.
"We all live in Maharashtra and every child should read and write Marathi properly," he said. Some students may feel that their marks in class 10 and 12 will suffer if they are forced to study an additional subject, he said.
"But I would like to tell them, do not think of only percentage. Our mother-tongue should be conserved," the deputy chief minister added. He also said that the condition of police quarters in the state was very bad, and the government will take steps to improve the situation. The government will provide houses of 500 square feet to police personnel, he said.
Pawar also appealed party workers not to come to Mumbai to meet him unless there was important work. "I have still not received official residence. At the place where I am staying, we have to accommodate people in the dining room, in bedroom. My wife Sunetra told me that I will not live here till a bigger house is allotted," he said in a lighter vein.
"The state is in a difficult financial situation, we are witnessing a decline in the growth rate. Gold prices are going up, fuel prices are going up because of the Iran-US stand-off and rupee is depreciating. At the same time we have to help farmers and make them eligible for a new crop loan for the Kharif season," he said.
Earlier, the NCP leader was accorded a grand welcome in the town as he was visiting Baramati for the first time after becoming deputy CM.