Call to include Hindi in New Zealand Curriculum

Venkat Raman

An organisation representing people passionate about Hindi has represented to the Prime Minister and other government and non-government officials to consider including Hindi as a language to be taught under the New Zealand Curriculum.

Satya Dutt, President of the Papatoetoe (South Auckland) based Hindi Language and Culture Trust of New Zealand and Teach Hindi New Zealand has sent petitions to the Prime Minister, Education Minister, several Members of Parliament, education and other officials and to many NGOs advocating a status for Hindi on a par with 12 other languages that the government supports in its education system.

“Hindi is the fourth most-spoken language in New Zealand and the third most-spoken in Auckland (after English and Samoan) and yet there is no curriculum to support teaching Hindi in New Zealand schools. Students studying Hindi cannot get NCEA credits for the learning,” he said in his written submissions.

Four demands

Mr Dutt said that there were four demands that the Hindi-speaking people of New Zealand have placed before the government for early action.

They are (1) Hindi should be recognised and supported as a language (2) The Hindi Language and Culture Trust should prepare the curriculum document, with the expertise, funding and recognition from the Education Ministry to support teaching Hindi in schools (3) Creation of a post for an official in the Education Ministry to coordinate, facilitate and promote teaching and learning Hindi between ministries, communities and learning institutions and (4) NCEA standards to be set for Hindi to create the same status as other languages supported by the government and Education Ministry.

Widespread support

“We also want the Education Ministry to liaise with the Pacific Islands Affairs Ministry and support the National Language Week celebrations. Although Hindi is a language of the Pacific, it is not on the List of Supported Languages,” Mr Dutt said.

He said that the demands have widespread support from several community and social organisations across New Zealand.

Mr Dutt said that the Auckland Languages Strategy Group, comprising representatives of organisations and individuals with an interest in the promotion of languages, has endorsed the submission.

Photo Caption:

Satya Dutt (Photo Supplied)

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