Despite warnings by the exam boards in the UK that many community or minority languages may be discontinued at GCSE and A levels, the government has now affirmed that some of these languages such as Gujarati, Punjabi and Bengali will continue to be taught in schools till September 2018.
The department of Education (DoE) strongly believes that there are many benefits of learning a second language, including a minority language and the government is ready to continue with teachings of this subjects.
According to UK reform minister Nick Gibb, “All pupils should have the opportunity to study foreign languages as part of a core academic curriculum that prepares them for life in modern Britain. This should extend to community languages.”
He further said that an outward facing country like Britain requires high quality qualifications not just in French, German and Spanish but also in languages such as Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, Polish and Turkish.
He added, “To avoid any gap in provision of certain languages the government will, where necessary, compulsorily extend the time table for organisations to continue with existing qualifications until at least September 2018.”
Earlier this year when the board of examinations had expressed their plans to drop minority languages especially Indian languages, from the curriculum, the issue significantly worried many scholars, as well as local Asian MPs. On popular demand, the government met many representatives from embassies and communities, including supplementary schools as well as spoke to the exam boards, to find a solution.
Virendra Sharma, Punjabi MP from Ealing Southall, had written to Tristram Hunt, shadow secretary of state for education, to raise awareness of the terrible threat the Tory government was posing to language A level qualifications. Following this, Hunt had spoken to the House of Commons and called for the education secretary to resolve this matter.