In what is being hailed as a proud moment for members of Punjabi community, it has been confirmed that Punjabi language will now be taught right through from kindergarten to year 10 in NSW public schools.
Gurmeet Kaur, a pioneer in the development of Punjabi language syllabus in New South Wales says, "Another milestone has been achieved with the teaching of Punjabi language in NSW Public schools commencing from the next session."
Ms Kaur told SBS Punjabi, ‘The work on the development of syllabus of Punjabi language has been going on for the last two years. We have attended numerous workshops organised by NESA, (the NSW Educations Standards Authority) and have finally handed it over on 27th of November’.
‘It is a proud moment for all Punjabi community members that their mother tongue will be taught right from Kindergarten to year 10 in NSW public schools’.
Explaining the various phases of implementation Ms Kaur said, ‘From 2020, Punjabi can be taught as an optional subject, from 2021 it will be taught in Kindergarten through to year 6 in primary schools, and year 7 and elective in year 9. And finally, from the year 2022, it will be taught from Kindergarten right to year 10 and students can continue it in their HSC like they are doing now.'
Talking about the highlights of Punjabi syllabus, Ms Kaur said, ‘Like other main subjects, Punjabi syllabus is also inclusive, flexible, equitable, culturally sensitive, respectful and related to Aboriginal culture and education.’
‘The most significant thing about this syllabus is that it is specifically designed to cater for those who have physical or intellectual disabilities and want to learn Punjabi’.
Click here for a copy of the full Punjabi syllabus.
'Many organisations like National Sikh Council of Australia, Guru Nanak Punjabi School, Revesby Punjabi School and Saturday School of Community Languages have worked tirelessly to achieve this significant milestone', she adds.
The NSW Department of Education with help from the University of Sydney will soon start recruiting and training the Punjabi teachers.
Ms Kaur has appealed to all Punjabi lovers to come forward and help with this cause that will 'immensely help our future generations.'
‘The next stage is to start collecting the resources for effective teaching. It is a big job. For each resource, we have to complete a set of documentation. Those teachers who are already teaching in NSW public schools can be of great help and I urge all of them to come forward and help us’.
Amanpreet Kamal, the events coordinator of Revesby Punjabi school and ambassador of NSW Federation of community language schools, has come forward to manage the task of resource collection.
Gurmeet Kaur has further requested all community members and especially parents to encourage their children to take Punjabi as a subject in their mainstream schools.
‘I request all parents to go to their mainstream school principals and inquire how their children can learn Punjabi as a subject in their school’.