Malayalam compulsory in Kerala schools, government brings out ordinance

Speaking to reporters, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that no school in the state shall prohibit its students from speaking in Malayalam.

Kerala Governor P Sathasivam on Tuesday approved the ordinance making Malayalam mandatory in schools across the state, including those under the CBSE and ICSE boards.

The cabinet took the decision after it was brought to the notice that Malayalam was not being taught in some schools.

"The law (ordinance) clearly states that schools should not impose any direct or indirect ban against speaking Malayalam". Foreign students and those from other states would be given relaxation in the rules for the tenth standard examination.

In April 2013, Indo- American International School at Vagamon in Kottayam challenged the insistence of the government to teach Malayalam, even after the High Court's direction in favour of the schools.

In 2013, the government wanted to make the move as a regulation but the schools evaded by an excuse that there are many students who in CBSE and ICSE schools who are from other states will find hard to learn Malayalam. The court had said that students from other states were also studying in ICSE and CBSE schools, and that the language should not be a compulsory subject for them. Schools will not be allowed to have "speak in English" boards anymore and the executive order will be applicable to all education boards, including CBSE.

In 2011, the previous United Democratic Front (UDF) government led by Oommen Chandy made Malayalam compulsory in all schools.

He also said that the head master will have to pay a fine of Rs. 5,000 if any school refuses to teach Malayalam.

  • Rogelio Becker