New Delhi: The Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that it had introduced foreign languages as `optional subject` for the better career prospects of students and had `not removed the Sanskrit language` from its curriculum.
The Sangathan said foreign languages could not be accommodated within the `Three Language Formula` but might be offered as additional options. The KVS told a division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath that students were at liberty to opt for any one of the languages they desire.
In view of the fast increasing international interaction and cooperation in socio-political, education, culture and economic fields, a growing need for learning more and more foreign languages like Chinese, Japanese, Russian, French, German, Arabic, Persian, and Spanish has been felt recently, said the affidavit submitted by the KVS.
"These languages can`t be accommodated within the Three Language Formula. However, depending on the demand for the study of any number of these and the infrastructural resources available with the schools, these languages may be offered as additional options at secondary stage," it added.
The court was hearing a plea filed by Sanskrit scholars against a circular that allegedly allows students to study foreign languages instead of Sanskrit as the third language.
The plea said that the KVS issued a circular in 2010, directing Kendriya Vidyalayas across the country to introduce foreign languages in place of Sanskrit as the third language in classes VI-VIII from the 2011-12 academic session.
The Sangathan in the affidavit said that foreign languages are optional and it is for the students as well as their parents to decide which subject the student opts for the best interest of his career.
The PIL filed by the Sanskrit Shikshak Sangh, an umbrella body of teachers and scholars of the language, claims the move not only violates the National Education Policy and the Three Language Formula of 1988, but will also do "irreparable damage to Sanskrit language and Indian culture".
The Three Language Formula prescribes teaching English, one regional language, and one language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
The petition submitted that the KVS circular is also against the provisions of the Right to Education Act since it called for re-training the language TGTs so they could eventually teach the foreign languages to the class VI-VIII students.
Counsel for the central government, however, told the court that the government was "taking steps to preserve the ancient Sanskrit language".