Korean will be taught as a foreign language in Indian schools

On July 30, the Indian government announced the selection of Korean language as one of the foreign languages ​​taught at secondary level.

Following India’s announcement, the Korean Ministry of Culture said on Thursday that the Korean Cultural Center in India and the Korean Embassy in New Delhi have played a crucial role in appealing to the need for the Korean on the list.

“Since last year, we have requested that the Korean language be included in the list of foreign languages. We expected the Korean language to appear on the draft (New Education Policy 2020), which came out last year, but it was not included. We have continued to appeal to the Indian government, sending official requests to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of India, ”the director of the Korean Cultural Center in India, Kim Kum-pyoung, told the press. Korea Herald. “The principals of the Indian schools we worked with also supported us. “

The Korean Cultural Center in New Delhi opened in 2012 and has signed a memorandum of understanding with 105 schools in India for cultural exchanges to date.

“We organize various events such as essay competitions, drawing competitions and quiz contests related to Korean and Indian culture with local schools. Last year approximately 92,000 students participated, ”Kim said. “Until now, the competitions have taken place between private schools. Now that the Korean language has been listed as one of the foreign languages ​​(taught in schools), we also expect more interest from public schools.

The cultural center has also been helping to organize pilot Korean classes in Indian schools since 2015. Last year, the center launched Korean hobby classes in 10 schools, and in 2020, three schools chose classes in Korean. Korean as a regular subject.

The Korean Ministry of Culture added that it is developing Korean language courses and textbooks for use in schools in India. In addition to sending professional Korean teachers to India, the Korean government has indicated that the King Sejong Institute, the Korean language public institute operating overseas, will launch official local teacher training courses. in 2021.

In June, the Ministry of Culture and the King Sejong Institute Foundation launched three additional King Sejong Institutes in India to reflect the growing demand for learning about Korean culture. There are currently seven King Sejong Institutes in India.

In addition to creating an environment for learning Korean, Korean Cultural Center India also aims to have Korean language selected as one of the test subjects during the university entrance examination.

Indian students take exams in 10th and 12th grade.

“We are discussing with the Indian government so that 6th grade students can take the Korean test after taking Korean lessons for 4 years,” Kim said. “During the discussions with the Indian side, we concluded that it would be good if we (Korea) could also include Hindi in our university exam.”

Kim went on to point out that in order to spread Korean culture more, it is important that Koreans understand Indian culture as well.

“India’s interest in Korea can only be sustained if there is a mutual exchange of cultures,” Kim added.

A total of 12 countries – India, the United States, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, France, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines – have chosen Korean as part of their education programs. foreign languages.

Meanwhile, the Indian government has removed Chinese from its list of foreign languages ​​in the new 2020 education policy, a move widely seen as spurred on by growing tensions between the two countries.

By Song Seung-hyun ([email protected])

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