National education policy removes Mandarin from list of examples of foreign languages

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Mandarin is absent from the examples of foreign languages ​​that can be taught in schools.

The National Education Policy (NEP) did not mention Mandarin — a group of Sinitic Chinese languages ​​— in the list of examples of foreign languages ​​schools can offer students. According to The Hindu, there is no mention of Mandarin in the final NEP policy document. However, Mandarin was present in the draft policy released in May 2019.

According to The Hindu, the draft 2019 policy stated, “A choice of foreign languages ​​such as French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese would be offered and made available to interested students.”

However, as the tension between India and China grew over the years, the final policy document stated: “In addition to high-quality offerings in Indian languages ​​and English, foreign languages, such as Korean, Japanese, Thai, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian will also be offered at the secondary level…”.

But Higher Education Secretary Amit Khare said the languages ​​mentioned in the final policy are only a set of examples and not an exhaustive list of permitted languages. Students can learn other languages, The Hindu reported.

Chinese language Mandarin is also not on the list of languages ​​offered at Class 10, Class 12 level by the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE). However, a school can offer any other language as a third language option for grades 6-8.

The Hindu further reported that the MEA did not respond to questions about whether there were plans to remove Mandarin from the CBSE curriculum.

In the meantime, the Ministry of Education held discussions with the MEA and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations to consult which languages ​​were important to keep in the curriculum. Also, there may be security concerns regarding the inclusion of Mandarin to be taught in Indian institutions, as some issues may have been under the scanner, The Hindu said, according to sources.

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