The West Bengal government has made Bengali mandatory in schools till class 10. Irrespective of the boards, students of all schools across West Bengal will now have to learn Bengali compulsory along with two other languages. The announcement was made by Education Minister Partha Chatterjee late on Monday evening at a hurriedly called press conference.
"Starting now, it will be compulsory for students to learn Bengali in schools. English medium schools will have to make Bengali an optional subject from Class I so that the students can study it either as a second or third language," Chatterjee said. Mamata Banerjee government has come up with the move days after the union government made Hindi compulsory in all CBSE and ICSE schools.
Under the new rule, even schools that do not fall under the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education will have to make provisions for teaching Bengali as a second or third language. The students are free to choose the other two languages.
Students can either choose to study English and Hindi along with options of Urdu, Gurumukhi, Nepali and Ol-chiki but Bengali will be compulsory. West Bengal government is walking in the footsteps of Kerala where Malayalam was made compulsory in all schools across the state. Before the new rule, students in West Bengal studied English and one other language till Class VI. Students had to choose a third language Class VII onwards which could be an Indian or foreign language.