Dharmendra Pradhan writes to Andhra, Jharkhand CMs on preservation of Odia-based education – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday wrote letters to chief ministers of Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh seeking personal intervention for promoting and preserving Odia-based education in the states.

In his letter to Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, Pradhan said, “I am writing this letter to seek your personal intervention for implementation of the values enshrined in the New Education Policy 2020, and preserving the best interests of Odia speaking school children in Jharkhand.”

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“I would like to underscore the shared history of Odisha and Jharkhand which goes back to ages and binds the two states together till this day. Saraikela and Kharsawan districts in Jharkhand were once Odia speaking princely states and among two of 26 Garhjats which made up the state of Odisha,” he added.
The union minister further stated, “During state reorganisation exercise in 1948, these two princely states were clubbed with the erstwhile Bihar State which has become present-day Jharkhand. It is estimated that around 20 lakh Odia speaking people live in Jharkhand today concentrated around Kolhan Division of Jharkhand consisting of Saraikela-Kharsawan, EastSinghbhum and West Singhbhum Districts apart from smaller populations in Ranchi, Gumla, Dhanbad, Bokaro, Simdega, Lahardega and Latehar districts.”

In another letter written to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Pradhan sought personal intervention for harmonious resolution of issues pertaining to the Odia language-based education in border villages of the state.

“Odisha and Andhra Pradesh share common cultures and multiple interests relating to the promotion of native languages of the respective states in the border villages,” he stated.

The Education Minister further said that following the demarcation of the border between Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, some of the schools in the border areas of Odisha as well as Andhra Pradesh have merged with the school systems in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, respectively.

“As a result, many Odia and Telugu speaking children in schools in the two states have become minority groups whose native languages need to be supported,” he stated.

“To resolve this situation, both the state governments had entered into an agreement to cater to the needs of the students who wish to learn their respective languages (Telugu in Odisha and Odia in Andhra Pradesh) in schools,” he added.

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