In the backdrop of growing importance of Indian diaspora in Australia, the Victorian state government has asked the federal authorities to include Hindi a part of its national curriculum. The state government, in its latest submission to the national curriculum authority, has asked as to why Hindi language has not been included among 11 languages in the national curriculum pushing for a strong case for the national language of India.
In the submission paper, the state government has referred that Hindi was among the top 10 languages spoken at home that has jumped by 106 per cent in 10 years since 1996. “It is inconceivable that the decision made by passed this language,” the paper said. It strongly supported its inclusion by referring to the increased migration from India, and future trends that it said would generate more demand for Hindi.
It also mentioned that there were more than 30 per cent professionals from India working in Australia as compared to 19 per cent Australian-born. Over 26 per cent of India born immigrants were holding post graduate qualification when compared to four per cent Australian born, it said in its submission. “Given that, these immigrants would inspire their children for the similar professionalism and qualifications that in turn would generate demand for Hindi,” it said. The Victorian government also stated that with the level of trade and commitment between the two sides, Hindi played a strong role for communication between the corporate world.
In 2009, the two way trade grew to almost USD 21 billion, which was a 9.5 per cent increase as compared to previous year.
From tourism point of view for Australia, India was placed among the sixth leading country and was on rise. “Many of the tourists do not speak English and therefore look for communicating in Hindi in the host country which requires Hindi speaking travel agents, hoteliers, and guides, that in turn demands learning Hindi,” the paper said. Depriving the school children and youth of learning Hindi, will narrow their global view and render them less competitive for global integration,” it added.
The state has asked the federal government to recognise Hindi with a higher priority and its inclusion in the first stage of Australian curriculum; languages.
The demand of Hindi inclusion has been also made by a Sydney based community body National Council of Indian Australians.
NCIA’s president Yadu Singh said, “The argument for including Hindi in the national curriculum is very strong and compelling. It needs to be taught in the schools as a regular subject, like other languages, not just in weekend schools, run by community groups”.
Expertise in Hindi would have important consequences not only for productive cultural, trade and diplomatic exchanges, but also for intelligence and security issues between Australia and India.
“Hindi, the national language of India, is not even mentioned anywhere. This is a serious omission, ignoring the importance and relevance of this language for Australian students and Australia generally,” Singh, a well know cardiologist, stated.
Recognising the importance of languages other than English, the federal body Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), responsible for the development of national curriculum, has recommended 11 second tier languages which should become part of the national curriculum.
Excluding Hindi languages that get mentioned in the list are Mandarin, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Indonesian,French, German,Spanish, Arabic, Modern Greek and Vietnamese.
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