160 Marathi Medium Candidates Set to Teach English in Urdu Schools

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Concerns have surfaced over the capability of these teachers to effectively educate Urdu-speaking students.

Mohammad Alamullah | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – The education department of Maharashtra has recently appointed 160 Marathi medium candidates to teach English in Urdu medium schools, triggering objections from educational organisations and groups advocating for Urdu medium teachers. Despite persistent appeals for the appointment of Urdu medium candidates, concerns over fairness and the competency of Marathi medium teachers to effectively educate Urdu-speaking students have surfaced.

The appointment of Marathi medium candidates comes amidst a statewide recruitment initiative by the government and the education department aimed at filling approximately 21,000 vacant positions. The selection process, facilitated through the Pawitra portal, witnessed thousands of candidates submitting applications between February 5 and 14, with the release of the first general merit list on February 24.

Out of the 535 candidates selected in the initial list, 375 hail from Urdu medium schools. However, a significant number — 160 candidates — have received their education in Marathi medium institutions. These individuals are now slated to instruct English to students in Urdu medium schools, a move vehemently opposed by groups of Urdu medium teachers. Advocates argue that appointing Marathi medium teachers in Urdu medium schools undermines the quality of education as it deprives students of instructors proficient in their mother tongue.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the department’s decision, Sajid Nisar, general secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Urdu Shikshak Sangh, underscored the importance of appointing Urdu medium candidates to ensure effective teaching in Urdu medium schools. He urged the Education Commissioner to reconsider the matter and prioritise the appointment of Urdu medium teachers.

Speaking to Clarion India over the phone, Abid Shaikh, Joint Secretary of Mahanagar Palika Shikshak Sabha, condemned the move, accusing the education department of disregarding vernacular medium schools. He warned of potential legal repercussions if the department fails to promptly address the issue.

The unfolding controversy sheds light on the ongoing debate surrounding language medium education and the hurdles faced by minority language speakers in accessing quality instruction. As stakeholders continue to voice their concerns, the education department finds itself under mounting pressure to address grievances and uphold principles of fairness and linguistic inclusivity in educational appointments.

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