Maharashtra Proposes Making English an Optional Subject in Junior Colleges

Image Used for information purpose only. Picture Credit:

In a significant move, the Maharashtra State Council for Educational Research and Training (SCERT) has released a draft State Curriculum Framework (SCF) for School Education (SE) from Class 3 to Class 12, which includes a recommendation to make English a non-compulsory subject at the Junior College (JC) level (Classes 11 and 12).

According to the proposed subject structure for standard 11 and 12, students will have the flexibility to choose eight subjects, including two languages, environmental and physical education, and four subjects of their preference. The SCF aims to gradually phase out the stream-specific (Arts, Commerce, Science) curriculum.

The SCF’s language chart features 17 indigenous Indian languages and nine foreign languages, with English being the primary one. Students will be required to choose one language from India as part of their language choices.

The proposed SCF-SE is unclear regarding the English language policy from classes 3 to 10, where English was previously compulsory. According to the suggested subject arrangements, classes 3 to 5 will transition from a three-language setup to a two-language setup. The primary language can either be the mother tongue or the state language (Marathi), while the secondary language can be any other language.

In the proposed subject scheme for classes 7 to 8, three languages are recommended without specifying the specific combination. For classes 9 and 10, it is mandated that two out of three languages be of Indian origin. This optional language choice has raised concerns among some education experts, who see it as contradictory to the Maharashtra government’s 2021 mandate, which made Marathi a compulsory subject in all schools.

Additionally, the SCF is also being discussed for offering a shift towards a multi-disciplinary approach in junior college education. This shift would replace the conventional Arts, Commerce, and Science streams, allowing students the flexibility to choose subjects across various disciplines.

The proposed changes in the SCF aim to provide students with more choices and flexibility in their educational pursuits, while also promoting the use of indigenous Indian languages. However, the implications of making English an optional subject at the JC level and the potential impact on students’ future prospects remain to be seen.

Read More: