My school was one of those rare and unconventional ones that taught Sanskrit to students. The school even conducted written and oral exams to ensure that we had a good grasp of it. It has been three decades since then and I forgot all about it till I recently had an impromptu discussion about it with a friend who is also a school teacher. She informed me that Sanskrit is likely to be included in the academic curriculum as per National Education Policy (NEP 2020).
This new provision has sparked a debate because it will put additional pressure on schools and students. Well, let’s first put your worries to rest. Sanskrit will not be a compulsory subject but a mainstream option among language subjects. So, it is up to your children whether they want to learn Sanskrit or not.
While it may appear that Sanskrit will be a tough subject to study, your children can benefit from it in a number of ways.
Foundation of Other Languages
Sanskrit is considered the root of Hindi and many other Indo-European languages. The phonetics, grammar rules and script of Sanskrit make it easier for your child to learn other languages.
Easy to Read and Write
Since the Hindi language is derived from Sanskrit, the alphabets are the same for both languages. If your child is comfortable with the Hindi language, then s/he can pick up Sanskrit words with little effort.
Better Cognitive Functions
A study claims that memorising Vedic mantras in Sanskrit languages enhances the brain regions associated with cognitive functions such as memory. So, if your child is struggling with concentration or has poor memory, then learning Sanskrit can help.
Optional Subject in UPSC Mains
Did you know that UPSC aspirants select Sanskrit as an optional subject in UPSC Mains? There are several reasons why they do so. The syllabus of Sanskrit is less which gives them more time to focus on other subjects. It is also considered a scoring subject because a part of the exam paper has objective questions. If your child wants to build a career in civil services, it is recommended to learn Sanskrit from a young age.
Good Career Prospects
Sanskrit is a treasure trove of ancient scriptures and philosophy. The research to know primaeval civilizations continues to intrigue the world. Hence, there is a high demand for Sanskrit experts as researchers, consultants, writer-editor, teachers, etc. You would be surprised to know that a NASA paper claims that the Sanskrit language is most suitable for their artificial intelligence programme!
Before rejecting the idea of making your child learn Sanskrit, it is advisable to keep an open mind. Just the way you feel proud if your child learns a foreign language, you should look at Sanskrit in the same way.
In case your child’s school has not yet introduced the Sanskrit language, you can consider hiring Sanskrit tutors.