Request to Texas Education Agency to offer Tamil language course in school curriculum

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Scientists believe that learning foreign languages helps students to appreciate other cultures, improve their confidence & decision making skills, and also helps to travel to and socialize in those regions. For native speakers, learning the language helps to know their roots, establish their identity, and take it forward to upcoming generations.

Tamil is an ancient, classical South Asian language (over 3000 years old, possesses independent tradition and a considerable body of ancient literature). Tamil is actively spoken and used by more than 80 million people around the world.  It is estimated that close to half a million people speak Tamil in the USA. It is also a Proto Language for other South Indian Dravidian languages such as Kannada, Malayalam, Toda and Kodagu. It is an official language in India (in the states of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry), Sri Lanka and Singapore.

Being the most ancient non-Sanskritized language, Tamil literature is unique and thus has become the subject of study by scholars all around the world. College level Tamil programs are offered at University of Texas - Austin, University of California - Berkeley, University of Chicago and University of Pennsylvania in the USA.  

Texas is home to more than 20,000 Tamil families concentrated in the Greater Houston, Dallas - Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin areas. There is a great demand to teach and learn Tamil and its associated culture in the public schools of Texas. Several volunteer-run, non-profit organizations / schools are teaching Tamil all over Texas and currently fulfilling this need. Receiving credits in high school from ISD will serve as an additional motivational factor for students to learn the language.

With this petition, we are requesting Texas Education Agency (TEA) to

  • Offer Tamil as a language course in school curriculum and provide the course code and
  • Also provide provision to offer the course online, via Texas Virtual School Network (TXVSN), for the benefit of students enrolled in various ISDs across the state

Using the course code, students in Texas schools and ISDs under TEA can learn the language as part of their regular school curriculum and gain credit for the same. To establish this need with TEA, we are voicing our request through this petition.

We humbly request you to sign this petition and support this endeavor! Kindly indicate your ISD and city too. Thank you! 

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