Govt makes Urdu compulsory at primary level

Govt makes Urdu compulsory at primary level
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Formal orders issued after legislators flag issue

Irshad Khan

Srinagar: The School Education Department Wednesday issued orders making Urdu a compulsory subject for upto 5th standard in all government and private schools across the state.
The order comes nearly a month after a meeting between Education Minister, Chowdhary Zulfikar and legislators held in Jammu to review the functioning of Education sector in winter zone Jammu on May 21 and 22.
Urdu being the official language of the state and most of the day-to-day official work, particularly in judiciary, police and revenue carried out in Urdu language, the legislators, as per the order issued by Secretary School Education “raised the necessity of Urdu teachers in the elementary schools”.
The legislators in the meeting had “pointed out that in most of the schools in their areas, Urdu teachers are not available, due to which the schools are not able to teach Urdu language at elementary level,” the order reads.
“…It was unanimously decided in the meeting to make teaching of Urdu language compulsory in both government and private schools up to 5th standard in the state. This will be in addition to the teaching of Hindi, which is already a compulsory subject in schools of Jammu division,” adds the order.
“It is further ordered that the Director School Education Kashmir/Jammu shall make necessary arrangement for providing teachers who are well versed in the subject and also ensure that the government order is implemented in letter and spirit without any fail”.
Although Urdu is being already taught at schools in Kashmir valley, Secretary School Education, Farooq Ahmad Shah told Kashmir Reader that “there was no formal order earlier” in this regard.
In Jammu, Urdu is “not being taught at all”, Shah added.
Welcoming the government officially making teaching of Urdu compulsory in schools, Chairman Private Schools Association Kashmir, G N Var, however, said that the institutions in Kashmir valley were finding it difficult to hire specialist Urdu teachers.
“In fact students at some of the leading private schools here do not know the basics of Urdu. The government should seriously address the issue,” Var added.