Education Ministry rejects reports on dropping Chinese from NEP, says it doesn’t prohibit study of any foreign language

By: Education Desk | New Delhi |

Published: August 2, 2020 8:58:27 pm

New Education Policy 2020 New Education Policy 2020 doesnot mention Chinese language in the list of foreign languages. Representational image/

New Education Policy 2020: Amid reports that Mandarin or ‘Chinese’ has been dropped from the list of foreign languages offered to students at the secondary school level in the National Education Policy, the Education Ministry on Sunday said the NEP “neither prescribes nor prohibits study of any foreign language”.

“Para 4.20 of NEP 2020 has given names of certain foreign languages ONLY AS AN EXAMPLE. The Policy neither prescribes nor prohibits study of any foreign language which will be as per the choice of students,” the Ministry said.

“In addition to high quality offerings in Indian languages and English, foreign languages, such as Korean, Japanese, Thai, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian, will also be offered at the secondary level…,” the final version of the NEP says.

However, a draft version of the NEP, released in 2019, did list Chinese, along with French, German, Japanese and Spanish as examples of languages to be “offered and available to interested students” as electives.

The New Education Policy has also stressed on mother tongue or regional language. The policy states that the medium of instruction until at least class 5 (and preferably till class 8) should be “home language or mother tongue or local/regional language”. The new policy gives the freedom to the state, region, and child to chose three languages. However, at least two of the three languages should be native Indian languages.

Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has said the Centre would not impose any language on any state through the new National Education Policy.

The New Education Policy (NEP) has also approved the multidisciplinary system in higher education. The new policy envisages a single regulator –the Higher Education Council of India (HECI). The HECI will function as the common, single regulator for the higher education sector including teacher education.

The policy aims for “broad-based, flexible learning”. The reintroduction of the four-year undergraduate programme in Liberal Arts Science Education (LASE) with multiple exit options and scrapping of the MPhil programme has been proposed.

The LASE curriculum will be designed to develop broadly “useful capacities” (critical thinking, communication skills, scientific temper, social responsibilities, etc) while offering a rigorous education in specialisations (called majors or dual majors) across disciplines.

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Zeeshan Laskar

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