Ranchi, Oct 24: A delegation of Utkal Sammilani, led by East Singhbhum unit president and Jamshedpur-based advocate Rabindra Nath Sathpathy submitted a memorandum to chief minister Hemant Soren requesting to take back the decision to exclude Odia as a regional language for primary teacher training exam.
Rabindra Nath Sathpathy, who is also vice-president of the central unit of Utkal Sammilani (a social and cultural organisation founded in Odisha in 1903) also demanded recruitment of Odia language teachers in Odia medium schools in districts having sizeable Odia speaking populace and provision of Odia text books in those schools.
The memorandum mentions that the in the advertisement of the Jharkhand Academic Council published in September on the primary teacher training exam Odia language has been excluded from the seventh paper (regional languages) whereas Sanskrit, Bangla, Mundari, Santhali, Ho, Kharia, Kurukh, Nagpuri, Kurmali, Khortha, Panchpargania and others have been included.
“The Odia speaking population is dismayed that despite the language being accorded second language status in Jharkhand , the Jharkhand Academic Council has taken such a decision. The Utkal Sammilani strongly condemns the decision. Especially, in the three districts of East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum and Seraikela Kharsawan and large parts of Simdega (sharing borders with Sundergarh) and Gumla has a large number of Odia speaking masses,” the memorandum states.
The memorandum requests chief minister’s intervention for inclusion of Odia language in the primary teacher training course with a fresh advertisement so as to enable Odia speaking candidates get an opportunity to participate and fill up vacant posts of Odia teachers. We would also demand that Odia text books are provided in Odia medium schools.
Significantly, a delegation of Odia Bhasa Bikash Parishad (language development council) led by a member of the Seraikela royal family, Aditya Pratap Singhdeo, and accompanied by Chakradharpur JMM legislator Sukhram Oraon had met chief minister on Friday over the same issue.
They had also demanded that appointment of Odia teachers in all Odia medium schools of Jharkhand (most of which have been merged with Hindi medium schools), providing Odia subject textbooks for Classes I to X in Odia medium schools and payment of honorarium to 160 teachers appointed for the education of Odia language by the Utkal Sammelani (a socio-cultural organisation of Odisha).
Incidentally, Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who hails from Odisha, had written to the Jharkhand chief minister in this connection.
Pradhan had written to Soren on October 1 seeking intervention into the issue of non-supply of Odia textbooks to Odia students and appointment of Hindi-speaking teachers in Odia medium schools in bordering villages and “securing” Odia language education for its Odia speaking population.
Odisha school and mass education minister and senior BJD leader S.R. Dash in a letter to his Jharkhand counterpart Jagarnath Mahato earlier this month had said that exclusion of Odia language from the teacher training course by the Jharkhand government has created an “atmosphere of dissent, distrust and discomfort fanning controversies among the Odia speaking people in Jharkhand and border districts”.
Dash urged Mahato not to exclude Odia language from the curriculum of the teacher training course meant for primary teachers in the neighbouring state.