The Punjabi language is all set to be officially introduced into the school curriculum in a region of Australia.
In a move to acknowledge the language of the Punjab region of India and Pakistan, the Australian government is adopting Punjabi as the newest language taught in public schools in Western Australia.
The decision was taken considering that Punjabi is the fastest-growing language in Australia, as around 239,000 people speak it on the mainland, Indian Express reported.
80 per cent increase in Punjabi language speakers
A 2021 census reportedly showed an increase of over 80 per cent in Punjabi language speakers from 2016 in Australia.
According to SBS Punjabi, the move to teach the Punjabi language in public schools was considered after the development of syllabuses for Hindi, Korean, and Tamil was announced in 2021.
The syllabuses for Hindi, Korean, and Tamil will be introduced in schools next year.
Pre-primary to Year 10 curriculum in 2024
Students can take courses of Year 11 in 2024, as the first Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) course examination has been scheduled for 2025.
SBS Punjabi reported that schools will have access to the pre-primary to Year 10 curriculum in 2024.
‘To support students in employment opportunities’
Education Minister Sue Ellery told SBS earlier that the Punjabi language will be provided as an option to pre-primary through year twelve students across Western Australia.
She said linguistic diversity boosts national cohesion, providing social, cultural, and economic benefits. She added that over 190 languages are spoken across the state.
“I am pleased to see the expansion of language curriculum for students in Western Australia, and the development of syllabus for Punjabi language could support students in key future employment opportunities,” Ellery said.
Previously, Australian Sikh history was incorporated into the Humanities and Social Sciences subjects in public schools across Western Australia for years 5, 6, and 9.
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