The Lakshadweep education department has announced that all of its schools will transition from Malayalam to CBSE English medium beginning with the next academic year, in an effort to “raise the standard of education” in the Union Territory and “align with the dynamic educational landscape.”
From the 2024-25 academic year, all schools in the UT shall admit students entirely through the CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) English medium stream, according to a directive issued by Rakesh Dahiya, director of education, on Tuesday.
“With the aim of elevating the standards of education and aligning with the dynamic educational landscape, the Department of Education, union territory of Lakshadweep, has resolved to transition SCERT [State Council of Education Research and Training] Kerala Malayalam medium classes to CBSE English medium,” the letter said.
Students in grades 2 to 8 in Malayalam medium SCERT schools will also switch to CBSE English medium beginning next year.
For students in grades 9 and 10, the change will be phased in over a two-year period to provide “minimal disruption” to existing board exams, according to the order.
“This migration is designed to equip students with essential skills and knowledge for their future academic and professional pursuits recognising the substantial role of the CBSE curriculum in preparing students for competitive examinations and 21st-century skills,” it said.
According to the education department, English, Malayalam, and Hindi would be given as the three languages in conformity with the National Education Policy, 2020 rules. “This approach ensures comprehensive learning of the three languages and alleviates the burden on students, preventing the necessity to learn more than three languages during the school studies,” according to the notice.
According to the UT education department, there were 51 schools in Lakshadweep as of the 2022-23 academic year, with around 8,200 pupils and 1,021 instructors. Many of these schools now provide instruction in both Malayalam and English.
A government school headmaster, who requested anonymity, condemned the UT administration’s action, claiming it violates students’ ability to pick their preferred language of instruction.
“This is absolutely wrong. The option of choosing the medium of instruction should be left to the students and the parents. It should not be imposed on them,” the headmaster told HT. “Moreover, the students currently in Malayalam medium will find it hard to adapt to the CBSE English medium curriculum suddenly next year. People here are mostly from ordinary social background and they may want their kids to be taught in Malayalam. They should be given that right.”
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