Vincent H Pala

Lok Sabha MP from Shillong , Vincent H Pala has demanded from the Centre to include Khasi and Garo languages in the list of second language options in the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) stating that these two languages have not been included in the newly published list of languages in the CBSE curriculum.

In a letter to Union HRD Minister, Ramesh Pohkriyal, the Shillong MP while complimenting the Union Minister and his Ministry for the introduction of the “modern and path-breaking” new education policy said, “it is in this context that I am writing to you to indicate that the essence of the new policy will not come to fruition if some fundamental issues remain unaddressed.”

Pala said that the population of Meghalaya is approximately 33 lakhs, of which 50 per cent of the population speak Khasi, 31 per cent speak Garo while the rest speak other languages,

He said that as per the newly published list of languages in the CBSE Curriculum, Khasi and Garo languages are not included.

“However, languages like Mizo and Tangkhul, spoken and used by a very small population are included in the list. Mizo Language is spoken by approximately 12 lakhs people and the number of people speaking Tangkhul is 1.83 lakhs.

“It is therefore pertinent to note that CBSE affiliated schools are popular in Meghalaya and parents are aware that CBSE is the best board for appearing in various competitive examinations,” Pala argued in his letter to Pohkriyal.

Pala, who represents the Shillong Lok Sabha constituency, said that his constituency is predominantly inhabited by the Khasi, Jaiñtia and Garo tribes.

He drew the attention of the Union HRD Minister that the Khasi and Garo languages are not included in the list of options for second language in the CBSE despite the fact that Khasi and Garo languages are the mode of communication (both verbal and written) for not only the indigenous residents of the state of Meghalaya but also for large sections of the inhabitants of other states in the Northeast who have Khasi and Garo ancestry.

Pala said that a sizeable population of Bangladesh also speaks the Khasi and Garo languages.

The MP therefore requested the Union Minister to consider the inclusion of Khasi and Garo languages in the list of approved languages at the earliest so that children of Meghalaya can receive the best of education.

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