Sanskrit won't be a mandatory language to be taught in
schools, said the former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami in his wide
ranging recommendations. He heads the committee on revival of Sanskrit language.
He said that schools and examination boards should ensure that the language is
taught and made available among those who are interested.
The committee has seven members and was set up by HRD
ministry. It is of the view that all Sanskrit Pathsalas and Vedic Schools
should be affiliated to some board like Maharishi Sandipani Veda Vidya
Pratisthan of Ujjain.
Gopalaswami further added that the committee is against
making any languages compulsory. But they recommended a total shift in the
pedagogy of Sanskrit. They suggested that grammar teaching method should be
done away with and every language is taught in target language so, Sanskrit
should also be taught in Sanskrit and teachers should also be made aware.
He said that problem with teaching Sanskrit is that grammar
is taught first while in other languages it's not the same. So, while teaching
Sanskrit, first stories and more text books should be read to students and then
grammar needs to be introduced. He recommended that a vocabulary of common Sanskrit
words should be built to simplify language.
The committee is of the view that in order to popularize
Sanskrit, textbooks of all subjects like science, mathematics and social
science should be in Sanskrit. It will help students to learn Sanskrit and
modern subjects especially those who are going to Vedic Schools or Sanskrit
Pathsalas. In fact, institutions like National Institute of Open Schooling
should conduct examination in Sanskrit.
Committee further recommended that old manuscripts should be
available online so that students can go back to their roots. These days it's a
trend to go back to nature like producing organic food or use of solar energy
so these manuscripts would be useful. Gopalaswami wants the collaboration
between modern subjects and Sanskrit as they believe that not everything old is
good and not everything new is bad. He gave instances of how front line
research on ashwagandha (Indian ginseng) is being funded and how great
mathematical mysteries have been unravelled in manuscripts on swara (note) and
tala (rhythmic phrase).