Konkani should be taught as an optional third language during school hours and not after school as is being done in several schools, Philomena Lobo, principal of the District Institute of Education and Training, said here on Monday.

Speaking at a workshop for Konkani teachers, Ms. Lobo said that due to unavailability of teachers, several schools taught Hindi during periods meant for the third language, and conducted Konkani classes after school hours. “This creates an impression in the minds of children that Konkani is outside their syllabus,” Ms. Lobo said.

Teaching Konkani during the period allotted for the third language should be made compulsory, she said.

President of the Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy Kundapur Naryana Kharvi said that despite Konkani being taught in schools as the third language since 2007, it had not been included under the Pratibha Karanji. “Now however, the Joint Director of Education has promised that Konkani will be included in the Pratibha Karanji,” he said. The option of studying Konkani as third language was sometimes not available for students who studied it at the primary level and change the schools thereafter.

Edward Nazareth, president of the Konkani Prachara Sanchalana, spoke. Seventy-four teachers attended the workshop, which was jointly organised by the academy and DIET for training teachers in teaching students of class IX. Ms. Lobo said that a B.Ed. course for Konkani teachers was being designed. This year had the first batch of class IX students. The workshop included training sessions on grammar, poetry and prose. At present, 74 schools in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts have Konkani as an optional third language. Of them, 56 are primary schools and the rest high schools, an official of the academy said.

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