Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan urged the Chief Ministers of Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh to promote and ensure Odia language teaching in schools bordering Odisha.
In letters to Mr. Hemant Soren and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Union Minister traced the historical connection of Odisha with the two bordering states and the number of Odia-speaking populations. He said the two-state governments need to ensure the supply of Odia textbooks, appoint Odia language teachers and take other necessary steps in this regard.
To Mr. Soren, the Union Minister pointed out that Saraikela and Kharsuan areas were part of the movement for a linguistic province of Odisha and at least 300 Odia schools were set up between 1913 to 1948 in these areas.
There are over 20 lakh Odias in Jharkhand, he said while noting that in 2011 Jharkhand government had recognized Odia as the second official language.
Presently, the number of Odia schools has been reduced and merged with Hindi schools, Odia teachers are no longer appointed and books are not supplied, he said.
In his letter to CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Union Minister said Odia schools were there in Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam districts. Pradhan sought the personal intervention of the two CMs to intervene in the interest of Odia-speaking children in bordering villages.