Official State Languages query

Pullat Devadas Das Menon dmenon at
Wed Aug 21 02:16:15 UTC 1996

There are a number of 'experimental' schools in India that does not conform
to the official syllabus. THese schools generallu cater for students upto
"eighth standard". From 8th onwards these students transfer to a 'normal'
school and continue their education so that they can get a paper certificate
for the 10th etc.

This 'transfer' to a standard school is strictly an arrangement between the
experimental school and the standard school (as long as the school is a
private school) at the discreeetion of the school principal. There might be
an entrance  test to gauge at whether the student can go into 8th itself or
at what level.

One school that comes to my mind is the Mirambika school run by the
Aurobindo Ashram in New Delhi, The medium here is English, but they do not
follow any formal syllabus. The other school is the one started by Jiva
Institute in Faridabad (Hariyana) in 94.

So I feel that it is quite possible to have a school that is different, but
it must have built in hooks so that the student can move over to a standard
school for the purpose of certification which is a requirement for jobs.
Such a hook necessarily will have to be one of the official languages that
is a medium of instruction in these standard schools. 

India unfortunately have quite a few obstacles to get admission to official
schools. To cite a personal example, my daughter has been refused
consideration even to appear for an entrance examination to std. VII at
Lawrence School Sanawar because she is 12 years old. They say she is too
old!. This has more to do with the fact that Lawrence School is a govt.
school which prescribes certain age for certain class. 


>Right, the problem is not of a law prohibiting such schools, but of
>official recognition of them. We cant just start schools in an ad hoc
>manner, they have to be officially registered as schools. Further,
>students have to pass an officially recognised public examination at the
>end of the 10th grade, but at present these are held only in the national
>and state languages.  Holding them in other languages would require
>official recognition of them as mediums of instruction. Even at the level
>of the elementary school, my impression is that if a child hypothetically
>spent her first 6 years of education in a 'school' where the medium of
>instruction is Tulu and then transferred to another school run in an
>official langauge, those initial years would not be recognised as formal
>schooling and the child would probably be ineligible to enter the new
>school in the 7th grade. But I'm not sure about this.
>I'd like to hear from you about these political issues. I hope eventually 
>to work on starting an elementary school in an adivasi language spoken in 
>my hometown, but I'm still inexperienced about the issue.
>Gail Coelho.

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