What Tamil Nadu students think on three language formula in schools ?

Nandini Voice For The Deprived , a Chennai based not for profit organisation, organised essay competition for college and school students in Tamil Nadu on the following subject .

“Is opposition to three language formula in Tamil Nadu schools appropriate ?”

Students from several schools and colleges from all over Tamil Nadu participated in the essay competition and submitted their views.

60% of the students said that three language formula is appropriate and needed.

25% of the students said that it is not appropriate and not needed.
15% of the students have not expressed any particular view on the three language formula in support or otherwise.

Fourteen students have been selected for the award of prize.

Highlights of the views of the students on the subject are summarised below

* Is it burden?

Most of the students said that in the formative age group that the young students pass through, it should not be difficult to learn three languages in schools from 3rd standard onwards.

The view that three languages formula could be unbearable burden for the students is termed as counter productive and it under estimates the capability of the average student in Tamil Nadu.



* Is Kasturirangan Committee report hasty ?

Draft report submitted by Kasturirangan Committee that make learning of Hindi as mandatory in schools, is termed as hasty and unwarranted by most students.

No proper consultation was made with the student community or educationists in Tamil Nadu by the Committee to understand their views and suggestions.

Later on, when there was opposition, it was hurriedly said by the Government of India that it is only draft report and not final decision. This was done to buy peace in Tamil Nadu. It only shows that the people in charge of Education Department in Government of India are not matured enough to take pragmatic decision and they seem to have thought that they can push any idea that even lack merit by forceful laws.

* Is making Hindi mandatory acceptable?

All the students said that it is certainly not acceptable to make learning of Hindi as mandatory. This amounts to Hindi imposition, which is not pragmatic move and the draft proposal on these lines, is entirely different to the earlier promises given about three languages formula.

* Is there blind hatred against Hindi in Tamil Nadu ?

There is no hatred for Hindi as such in Tamil Nadu but only some self centered politicians and so called activists are making the issue controversial and are blindly campaigning for hatred against Hindi amongst the students and youth in Tamil Nadu.

In the case of most of the politicians and activists, their children and family members are sent to English medium private schools and not to Tamil medium school and government schools. What to say about them ?

Thousands of students in Tamil Nadu are studying Hindi voluntarily in Hindi Prachara Sabha and other centres of learning. Many students voluntarily take Hindi as language in CBSC schools and Kendrya Vidyalaya.

* Why section of students oppose three language formula ?

It is repeatedly pointed out by students opposing three languages formula that their opposition is not due to hatred for Hindi but largely due to the fear that Tamil language could be replaced by other languages such as Hindi, which would be a deplorable practice.

Who will protect the interests of Tamil language if not people of Tamil Nadu ?

With Government of India directly or indirectly supporting Hindi language, it is necessary to ensure that Tamil language will not be affected by the spread of Hindi language in Tamil Nadu.

The fact that there is a draft policy to make Hindi language to be mandatory give enough reasons to suspect the motive of the three language policy advocates.

* Should Hindi be the link language ?

Of all the languages in India, Hindi is spoken by more number of people than any other single Indian language. At the same time, number of people who speak Hindi is less than total number of people speaking other languages put together.

While Hindi is reasonably understood in important towns and cities in India other than Tamil Nadu, in rural areas in many states like West Bengal, Maharashtra, Kerala etc. Hindi is not understood by people.Therefore, propagating Hindi as link language is unacceptable.

* Will India’s unity be affected by lack of link language ?

Many students are of the view that link language is not necessary for unifying India. There are many deep unifying factors in India due to historical practices, tradition and beliefs.

Link language is necessary only to facilitate job opportunities and communication between people belonging to different states all over India.

While link language could be useful, let not it’s importance and significance be exaggerated.

* Should English and Tamil be made compulsory in the three languages formula ?

All the students said that English language should be made compulsory, as it is an international language.

In the case of students from non Hindi states, asking them to study Tamil language compulsorily in Tamil Nadu is an act of imposition, pointed out many students.

* What priority for students ?

A large number of students pointed out that both students and parents are highly concerned about the job prospects and future career growth potential, while choosing subject of study and language of study. Equal attention is not paid to the particular taste and interest of the students in the choice of the study and decisions are not based on love or loyalty to any particular language,

While everyone is attached to mother tongue language , it does not mean that the love for mother tongue is the major criteria for deciding particular language of study. The view is that the language of study should help the students in the rest of their life towards flexibility in place of living and job choice.

Multiple language proficiency is considered as an asset and matter of priority and of utmost importance to the long term interests of the students

* What is the suggestion ?

Most of the students are of the view that learning third language is advantage of far reaching significance and importance for the student in the long term .At the same time, imposing any language for study is bad and reprehensible.

Three language policy in schools is desirable and appropriate.

The choice of subject of languages for study must be left to the students and their parents. It should be made optional for the students, to choose any three language for study depending upon their view and preference.

Those supporting three language formula are of the view that the schools, whether belonging to government or private, should implement three language formula from 3rd standard onwards with English being compulsory and other two languages should be left to the choice of the students.

Schools would choose the languages for conducting classes in their schools depending upon the popularity among the students and their assessment of what students desire. This would be fair and democratic process.

N.S.Venkataraman

Nandini Voice For The Deprived more  

View all 7 comments Below 7 comments
Politicians are growing. Growing in wealth. They do not want future generations to prevent it any way. To them, the best route for ensuring this is, to keep the students depend on them for everything, when the students start living on their own. By learning an additional lanuguage, students get equipped to earn more on their own, without the (mis)guidence of the politicians! How will a politician like this?

The sad part is, we the present elderly people who were in schools during the Hindi agitation, supported Hindi agitation, without understanding the real problem!

How many generations more will pay the price, I do not know! more  
Gentle man, I am happy that the Tamilnadu students have understood the Politicians, therefore they have come in favor of Three Language formula. Now the Politician who speaks volume of Democracy should keep quiet and permit the students to learn and grow further by three language formula. Long live Democracy once we respect it. more  
Even for 2 languages , why not have English and French or English and German instead ? English is the only bread winner lang for majority of Indians including Prof N.S more  
What prevents Hindi teaching and learning in TN is the vested interest of the Dravidian parties and other local politicians. Only by creating a people's movement in favour of three language formula as in other southern states the politicians will come to their senses. But it is not easy to counter the entrenched vested interests. more  
The three language formula is the only solution as of now for aspiring students. There is no other alternative,and let not the Kazhakams play spoil sport with the children aiming self sufficiency. more  
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