With the Gujarat Assembly passing a bill on Tuesday, Gujarati language will be taught mandatorily for all students across boards from class 1-8 in Gujarat.
The new legislation which will be enforced from 2023-24 academic year now mandates that even schools affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) and International Baccalaureate Boards (IB).
The legislation has it that fines will be imposed on schools found violating provisions of Gujarat Compulsory Teaching and Learning of Gujarati Language Bill, 2023. Or worse, the government could direct the board or institution to disaffiliate the school.
Introducing it, the state’s education minister Kuber Dindor said “Every school must follow textbooks prescribed by the Gujarat government to teach Gujarati as one of the languages. The state government will appoint a deputy director-level officer of the education department as the competent authority to implement the provisions of this bill and oversee the same.”
School a school be caught violating any provisions, first time offenders are liable to pay a penalty of Rs 50,000. This will increase to Rs 1 lakh and Rs 2 lakh for subsequent violations. Further if the school continues to make contraventions to this act, the state can direct the board or institution to disaffiliate the school as per provisions of the bill.
Opposition parties, AAP and the Indian National Congress, supported provisions of the bill, which was passed unanimously by the 182-member house. Congress, however, raked up an issue stating that the ruling party “woke up” only after a PIL was filed in the high court recently seeking implementation of the state government’s 2018 notification in this regard. It may be recollected that a PIL was filed last October by an NGO seeking Gujarat HC’s intervention in this regard.
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