Hindi Language and Culture Trust petitions for Second Language status
Auckland, September 6, 2017
Guests attending the ‘National Hindi Language Week 2017’ celebrations on September 15, 2017 will have an overview of the progress being made by a group of dedicated teachers and students in promoting Hindi as a language of learning in New Zealand.
Organised by the ‘Teach Hindi New Zealand’ and the ‘Hindi Language and Culture Trust,’ at the Papatoetoe High School Hall in the South Auckland suburb of Papatoetoe, the Programme will be held from 7 pm to 10 pm,
Satya Dutt, President and Chief Executive of the ‘Hindi Language and Culture Trust,’ said that more than 300 people including Members of Parliament, government officials, community leaders, teachers and students are expected to attend the event.
“The celebrations are a joint effort between mainstream schools and eight Hindi Language and Culture Community Schools. Teaching Hindi is the main activity at these institutions located in Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch,” he said.
Hindi Language Week
Mr Dutt said that the focus of the ‘Hindi Language Week 2017’ would be to increase awareness of Hindi as a language among the Indian Diaspora.
“Hindi is the fourth most spoken language in New Zealand and the third most spoken language in Auckland, as per the 2013 Census,” he said.
Mr Dutt said that resources are made available to the participating schools during the ‘Hindi Language Week’ to teach students the language from Monday to Friday.
As a part of the celebrations, a Speech Competition will be held on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at Otahuhu Primary School with about 40 contestants.
The cultural programme on September 15, 2017 will showcase the talents of children.
Mr Dutt has been championing the cause of Hindi for the past several years, contacting the Education Ministry, The New Zealand Qualifications Authority and other government departments to promote Hindi as a language of learning.
He welcomed the government’s recent initiative to promote second languages in New Zealand schools if the National Party returns to govern for the fourth term after the general election on September 23, 2017.
National Curriculum Project
“With the language spoken by so many people, it is time to include in the National Curriculum. The Trust has undertaken a Project to prepare its ‘National Hindi Curriculum Document. Experienced Classroom practitioners and retired teachers are working on the Project since 2013,” Mr Dutt said.
He said that former and current Papatoetoe High School Principals, respectively Peter Gall and Vaughan Couillault are among the prominent supporters of the Project.
Calling on the government to join the initiative and work towards the development of the Hindi Language Curriculum, Mr Dutt has appealed to the Education Ministry for assistance.
“We congratulate and commend Cook Island Maori, Ganga Samoa, Niuean, Tokelauan, Chinese, Tongan and Japanese communities for having the Curriculum developed for their languages. The Trust has successfully reached a Memorandum of Understanding with the Education Ministry and the Fijian Government to use its curriculum documents and resources to develop our curriculum document in New Zealand,” he said.
Mr Dutt said that the team at the Papatoetoe High School has been working on the Project and that the Trust’s services were recognised by the Indian Government and that the Speaker of ‘Lok Sabha,’ the Lower House of Parliament in Delhi Sumitra Mahajan presented a plaque to the Trust as a token of recognition on Sunday September 18, 2016 at Mahatma Gandhi Centre in Auckland.
“We will continue work the successful achievement of our goals of promoting Hindi as a language of learning and its inclusion in the National Curriculum of New Zealand,” Mr Dutt said.
Indian Newslink has been working with the Trust to support its objectives.