CBSE 10th Boards: Third Language Mandatory

The Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) has decided to do away with the 5-year old pattern of presenting an option between boards and school exams. The board will make the board exam compulsory with this session.

With the boards beginning in March 2018, students will have to appear for a third Indian language other than English and Hindi.

More than 18000 schools affiliated to the CBSE are to strictly adhere to this third language pattern. Sanskrit is the most preferred language. But any other language from the 22 constitutional languages can be chosen. This three-language formula is applicable to class 8 in all schools. The board wants to extend the limit for 2 more years. The third language is only meant for qualifying and the marks will not be added in the cumulative result. This pattern will strictly include only the Indian languages and all other foreign languages will be treated as an elective subject.

All the CBSE affiliated schools follow the three-language formula wherein a third language in mandatorily taught. This third language, however, is not one of the 22 constitutional languages and this has apparently provoked the Ministry of HRD into implementing this new rule.



There is a wide discontentment among schools as a corollary of this regulation. “We live in the age of globalisation where students are going abroad to study. We cannot make them study only Indian language as third languages. We need to give them options. If someone wants to study an Indian language, he/she should. But if someone wants to take up a foreign language, that should be allowed too,” said the principal of a leading school in New Delhi.

The three-language pattern first came into regulation in 1968. It was reiterated repeatedly in 1986 and 2005 and again in 2014. Many schools have still failed to implement it in their curriculum. The government, in order to set up an example, replaced German with Sanskrit in Kendriya Vidyalayas in order to promote Indian languages.

The return of the board exams after 5 years along with an additional mandatory subject is seen as increased pressure on the students. The CBSE, however, is expected to provide leniency in both paper pattern difficulty as well as assessments for this batch of students.


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