California district to offer Hindi as world language

FUSD has become the first public school district in California to offer Hindi

Community members at the January 17th FUSD Board Meeting following the vote to adopt Hindi into the district curriculum / Image-HindiatFUSD

In a significant milestone for education in California, the Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) School Board has voted in favor of introducing Hindi as a world language to its curriculum.

With this development, FUSD has become the first public school district in California to offer Hindi as part of its educational teachings. With a 4:1 vote, the pilot program will see Hindi as part of the curriculum of Horner Middle School and Irvington High School for the year 2024-2025.

The entire Indian-American community, which makes up almost 65 percent of the student population in the two schools, has extended support to the monumental decision to include Hindi in the curriculum.

The efforts to include Hindi in the FUSD curriculum has been going on for almost two decades. Previously, FUSD adopted Mandarin in two schools, while continuing to offer other languages such as French, Spanish, and Japanese.

As the number of Indian American students grew, the need for including Hindi in the curriculum became more evident, a news release stated. More than 500 students from across Fremont expressed strong interest in registering for Hindi at various levels during an outreach campaign conducted in December 2023.

FUSD board members Vivek Prasad, Sharon Coco, Larry Sweeney, and President Yajing Zhang also displayed their strong support for the proposal to introduce Hindi in curriculum, citing the welfare of students as a major reason behind their decision.

"I look at the demand, and I look at the value that this Hindi offering will produce for the community...for me it's a no-brainer" said Vivek Prasad, in a statement.

"If this is successful and if other schools want to offer Hindi, they will be able to in the future... so at this moment in time I'm in favor," added Sharon Coco.

"I'm positive that it (pilot) will go to all high schools and all middle schools, and they will embrace it,” remarked Larry Sweeney.

The pilot program has now gained the attention of the members of the Indian-American community across California who have expressed interests in replicating the efforts in their own regions, the release mentioned.