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'Punjabi in NSW schools': Parents urged to encourage children to grab the chance to learn

Source: Mona Sidhu

Acting on its commitment to teaching languages other than English, the NSW government has now developed a syllabus for students keen to learn and develop their skills in Punjabi.

In 2017, the NSW Department of Education undertook a collaborative curriculum project with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to draft Punjabi syllabus for students through kindergarten and year 10, after the state government gave its nod to teaching the language in public schools.

Mona Sidhu, a Sydney-based science teacher and language enthusiast told SBS Punjabi that the process which began in February 2018 has now concluded and the draft syllabuses for all years are now available on the NESA website. 

"In what can be touted as a proud moment for Punjabi families in Australia, the draft syllabus for the language program is now available on the NESA website," she said.

Ms Sidhu said that the Department has declared that it is keen to execute the teaching process in schools by next year and is now looking for qualified teachers to implement the program.

"Anyone who is already recognised to teach in NSW schools and is willing to teach can teach the language provided they have studied Punjabi until graduation," she said.

Community and teachers exploring resource collection ways
Mona Sidhu

'Parents must encourage children to opt for learning Punjabi in schools'

Anyone willing to learn the language can choose to take part in the program irrespective of their background.

Sydney-based Narinder Pal Singh Sidhu who is helping the state government with the implementation of the language program said Punjabi families must encourage their children to avail this learning opportunity.

"Punjabi has been part of the HSC curriculum for the past four years, but the challenge is that the number of students willing to learn Punjabi has dropped over a period of time. Parents need to encourage their children to opt for learning the language in school," he said.

Mr Sidhu said the implementation would initially focus on students in kindergarten to year 6.

"The focus would be to first encourage students in kindergarten to year 6 to take up this course and once we succeed in developing a continuity, we would concentrate on senior students," he said.

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