New Delhi: Students of government-run schools in Delhi from Class VIII to XII will now get a chance to learn Maithili as an optional subject, thanks to the Delhi government for taking such initiative.
“Maithili language will be taught to all students as an optional language in Delhi schools from Class VIII to XII. Students of Delhi would now be able to learn Maithili as an optional subject like Urdu and Punjabi,” Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia said on Monday.
Sisodia said that the Delhi government will make sure to arrange free coaching for students who are interested in taking up Maithili as optional subject while preparing for IAS/civil service examinations.
“The Maithili-Bhojpuri academy will arrange free coaching for the students who appear in competitive exams like civil services with Maithili as an optional subject,” he said.
Maithili and Bhojpuri languages are largely spoken in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. People who have migrated to Delhi from these states are called ‘Purvanchalis’ and they constitute about 40% of Delhi’s population.
To promote the language in the state, the Delhi government will organise a five-day Maithili-Bhojpuri festival in November, and will also felicitate talents for outstanding contribution to Maithili-Bhojpuri language.
The Education Minister further said that there is no font for Maithili, at present, but efforts are on to find out a font for it.
“The Delhi government has taken a significant step to have a font for Maithili. We are in touch with Pune-based C-DAC. We are planning to get C-DAC to make a font for Maithili and after that, we will give it to users,” he added.
Sisodia also said the Delhi government will felicitate people from the field of Maithili and Bhojpuri on the lines of languages like Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi.
“Now, we are planning to have awards for those who work sincerely for Maithili – Bhojpuri arts, culture, journalism, theatre etc.”
Sisodia further added that Bhojpuri is not included in the eighth schedule of the Constitution, but Maithili is.
“This is the reason, I won’t be able to introduce Bhojpuri in schools as an optional language. And, no student can take Bhojpuri as the optional language for any competitive examinations for this reason. As chairman of Maithili-Bhojpuri Academy, I will write to the Centre, suggesting to include Bhojpuri in the 8th schedule of the Constitution,” he added.
Study centres for these languages will be established in many places across Delhi.
“The Delhi government will keep the learning centres decentralised. As a result, people from different parts of Delhi can benefit. This is will help the language to reach more people and all can get the benefit,” Abhinandita Mathur, advisor to Sisodia, was quoted as saying by a news agency.
Last year, the Union Cabinet had approved the formation of academies from different language groups of India, including Malayalam, Gujarati, Bengali, Kumaoni-Garhwali-Jaunsari, Marwadi, Kashmiri, Assamese, Haryanvi, Odia, Kannada, Marathi, Telegu, and Tamil.