Balbharati panel will review new number reading method

Balbharati panel will review new number reading method

PUNE: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has directed to form a committee to invite suggestions and objections over the controversy surrounding the reading of numbers in Marathi which refused to die down even after a week.

Apparently, this year Balbharati had introduced a new reading method for mathematical numbers keeping intact the old method for Std II students from Marathi medium schools. Interestingly, renowned mathematician Mangala Narlikar presided over the committee which suggested the new method. 

As per the new method, the number, for example, 25, will be read as twenty-five, which was not the way to read it in Marathi. In Marathi, it would be read as ‘panchvis’, in which five was read first and later twenty. This would create confusion among the students and at times leading to loss of self-confidence. To expel this fear from among the students, the new method was suggested. 

But the method which finds similarity with Tamil, Telugu and English languages among others came under heavy criticism from various quarters of the society. 

Thus, CM has directed Balbharati to form a committee to look into the matter during the Monsoon Session of the State Assembly. 

While talking to Sakal Times, Director of Balbharati Sunil Magar said, “As per the directions from the chief minister, we will soon form a committee and will invite suggestions and objections. Actually, we had introduced a new method of reading the numbers last year for the students of Std I.” 

Meanwhile, Narlikar who presided over the committee that suggested the new method told Sakal Times that being the president if the suggested method was removed from the book, she would like to step down from the position. 

She said that this controversy was uncalled for. “The new method was suggested after thorough research, taking the feedback from the teachers, students, researchers and others. Initially, there was resistance from two members of the committee which wrote the curriculum, but when I told them that the old method too will remain, they took back their opposition,” she said. 

“I have been blamed for twisting the language, but it was untrue. In fact, I have added a new phrase in the language and it was only for two digit numbers. Secondly, I was criticised for adapting English method, but our entire education system was based on English method, besides that, it was not an adaptation of English, but southern languages of our very own country,” she added.

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