HRD Minister Smriti Irani today said a controversy over German being replaced in KV schools has been created "deliberately" and asserted that its continuation as third language would have been a violation of the Constitution.
"The schools were teaching German as the third language which was in violation of the Constitution, knowing that German is not a third language. We or the Ministry or KVs could not have renewed the contract. I have taken oath under Indian Constitution and I will abide by it," Irani told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.
According to the Ministry, the MoU signed between Kendriya Vidyalaya or central schools and Goethe Institute-Max Mueller Bhawan in 2011 to offer German as the third language was also not referred to the Ministry at any stage.
Irani said as far as the affected students of class VI to VIII are concerned, KVs have started providing them counselling. Students will have the option of picking any Indian language as the third language instead of Sanskrit.
"If a student wishes to take Tamil as the third language, we will ensure a Tamil teacher is provided," she said.
The Human Resource Development Ministry had last week decided to replace German with Sanskrit as the third language in the KVs, arguing that the existing arrangement was against the three-language formula and "violated" the national policy on education.
The decision is expected to affect over 70,000 students across 500 KVs from classes 6 to 8.
A communication by KVs released on November 18 said that grades obtained by students of Class VI to VIII in German as third language so far would be considered in compilation of overall annual assessment of the third language.
The HRD Minister also sought to underline the positive aspect of learning in regional language, saying that a study done by software giant Microsoft has shown how reading and writing in own language adds to the nation's GDP.
"Microsoft carried out a study in 22 nations that when reading, writing and comprehension happens in your own language, how that adds to the GDP and economy of that entire country," she said.
In this context, she felt that instead of rejecting English, "We can use English terminology in our language and script".
Referring to the country's rich past and the development of science and scientific temperament, Irani said the challenge before the nation today is how to sustain such a legacy.
"Today, I appeal you, our history was rich, we had a scientific temper and it will remain so. But how to sustain it, you have to think about it.
"We are men and women who are creative in our thinking and we are men and women who drive and support creative thinking. We have a glorious past which we need to celebrate," she said.