Yesterday, the government announced that all education institutions in Kerala will now have to compulsorily teach Malayalam until Class 10. Governor P. Sathasivam on Tuesday signed an ordinance to this effect. The law is applicable to all institutions under CBSE and ICSE boards from the next academic session.
And while students coming to Kerala from other states or countries to study will be exempted, the government can impose a penalty of INR 5000 if schools put a restriction on students speaking Malayalam on school premises. The government also has the right to cancel NOC of schools that violate this. Earlier, the Congress government too, tried to make Malayalam compulsory even at higher secondary level, but didn’t go ahead with the plan as it would face practical difficulties in implementing.
The decision comes after the government made use of Malayalam compulsory as the official language in government offices from May 1, in lieu of it being mandatory to know Malayalam to get government jobs in Kerala. This comes after a prolonged campaign to protect the vernacular language by literary critics, writers, among others. Schools are not allowed to even impose an indirect ban on speaking Malayalam in campuses by putting up notices on the display board.