Mumbai: Marathi will be made compulsory in schools of all boards across the state from the first to 10th standard from the academic year 2020-21. The state Legislative Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill that makes Marathi learning and teaching compulsory in schools in the state with a provision for a penalty in case of non-compliance.
The Maharashtra Compulsory Teaching and Learning of Marathi Language in Schools Bill, 2020 will be tabled in the legislative assembly on Thursday.
According to the legislation, schools found not complying with the provisions of the bill would attract penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh. The bill covers all schools irrespective of boards they are affiliated to.
Speaking in the house, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray expressed happiness over the passage of the bill in the Council. “Marathi is a historical language, which has got a great literature, culture and past. It is a language of strength and devotion and it is everyone’s duty to conserve it,” he said.
He added that he will also pursue with the Centre the demand of granting classical language status to Marathi.
A bill is generally introduced and approved in the Assembly first and then it goes to the Council. However, in this case, the Council chairman allowed the minister concerned to introduce the bill in the Upper House first. “As an exception, I am allowing Subhash Desai, minister for Marathi language, to table the bill in the Upper House,” said Council chairman Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar.
Speaking in the Vidhan Sabha, school education minister Varsha Gaikwad said that the state government will introduce the bill making the Marathi language mandatory in all schools in the state on Thursday.
The decision was taken through a mutual understanding after holding deliberations with all the educational boards including IB, ICSE and CBSE. The government has also studied the pattern being followed in Southern states in teaching local languages in their schools, she said.
Interjecting, BJP MLA Sudhir Mungantiwar demanded that rules of the legislature be changed for conducting the proceedings exclusively in Marathi.