Saturday, October 22, 2005

Sindhi Languaage: Will CM Prevail

KARACHI: Language issue prompts CM’s intervention
By Mukhtar Alam
KARACHI, Oct 21: The Sindh government and its education department appeared on different wavelengths on Friday in regard to the implementation of Sindhi Salees as a compulsory subject at the intermediate level.The education department on Friday issued a couple of notifications, including one that pertained to the withdrawal of a Sept 27 notification which had suggested for the introduction of Sindhi Salees teaching to the students of Class XI, with immediate effect.In a statement issued later in the night, the Sindh chief minister expressing his annoyance over the issuance of notifications on Friday said that the Sindh education department did not have any power to amend any piece of legislation passed by the Sindh Assembly and these notifications were issued without his consent and approval.The new scheme of studies issued by the education department on Friday provided for the teaching of Sindhi Salees (Simple) as an optional subject for the Urdu-speaking students at the intermediate level (Class XI).A notification issued on Friday stated that the education department had approved a scheme of studies for the XI and XII classes, which also envisaged teaching of Salees Urdu/Sindhi carrying 100 marks for class XI and Sindhi Compulsory (100 marks) for Class XII for the Sindhi-speaking students.In the meantime, the department also revoked one of its notifications of Sept 27, under which the scheme of studies at the HSC level had been revised and required to be implemented with immediate effect.Referring to a revision in the scheme of studies approved by the federal education curriculum wing on the Sindh government’s initiative, the Sindh education department on Sept 27 had notified that Urdu-speaking students were required to study Salees Sindhi, carrying 100 marks, for the HSC exams, in Class XI, with immediate effect. And, Urdu compulsory, carrying 100 marks only was supposed to be taught in Class XII.In a related development, the Sindh education department has also decided to set up a committee to examine the issue of teaching of languages at the higher secondary level.The statement of Sindh chief minister said that no changes would be made in the law relating to the Sindhi language as Urdu-speaking students were already studying Salees Sindhi from class IV in both the public and private schools of the province and they would not feel any difficulty in studying Sindhi in class XI and XII.He directed Sindh Education Minister Dr Hamida Khuhro to immediately constitute a committee of Sindhi and Urdu intellectuals and educationists, which would submit its proposals on the teaching of Sindhi and Urdu languages in all the educational institutions in the province, to the provincial government.The following is the text of an official hand-out carrying the statement of the chief minister:“Chief Minister Sindh Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim has said that no one can finish the Sindhi teaching, promotion and use of Sindhi Language Act 1972 passed by the Sindh Assembly in 1972 for furtherance of the Sindhi language, because no body has any right to cancel himself/herself the bill passed by the Sindh Assembly except the assembly. He maintained that no one could end the Sindhi language from Sindh. The chief minister said that Urdu was the national language, Sindhi the provincial language and English was the official language, and all these languages possess their importance and preference, and all these three languages would be receiving their due importance according to their fact. No dead body of any language can be taken out in his presence, he added.“In a press statement issued here on Friday the chief minister said that the presence of Urdu-speaking people in Sindh was a reality, while the Urdu-speaking people had to live in the province, and their life and death lies with Sindh.“The chief minister said that hundreds of people under their efficiency, qualifications and profession learn many foreign languages, thus nobody could object any one on learning of any language of the country.“He further said that there were good relations between the Sindhi and Urdu-speaking people since the last 70 to 80 years while there had been relationships between the Sindhi and Urdu-speaking families since the last 50 years and they were cordially living as brothers.“Dr Arbab said that it was the reason that the Urdu-speaking people had also been struggling for the rights of Sindh.“He maintained that nobody would be allowed to create differences between the Sindhi and Urdu-speaking people. He said that as far as the Sindh Act 1972 was concerned, it was mentioned that Sindhi would be the provincial language of Sindh and the Sindhi and Urdu languages would be taught from class 4th to class XII, but those who got passed the bill, had not implemented fully the said bill.“They even did not framed rules for teaching the Sindhi language in schools, with the result the subject “Sindhi Salees” is not being taught up to class XI, he added.“The education department does not have any authority to amend any bill passed by the Sindh Assembly on what the governor of Sindh has asked, the chief minister added saying that the recent notification was issued by the education department without my consent and approval, and even I was not informed about that case.“The Sindhi-speaking students get benefits by learning the Urdu language while by learning the Sindhi language, the Urdu-speaking people easily understand and talk Sindhi language as such both are coming nearer to each other, he added.“The chief minister advised the opposition to avoid creating unnecessary issues by exploiting political phenomenon, because there was no issue left with the opposition.”

(Source: DAWN October 22, 2005)


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