Karnataka Govt proposes to extend Kannada to CBSE schools

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Mon Jun 6 13:01:30 UTC 2005

>>From the Deccan Herald

Govt proposes to extend Kannada to CBSE schools

DH News Service Bangalore:

CBSE students whose mother tongue is Kannada must learn their language,
Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Ramalinga Reddy said.

The State Government is thinking of extending compulsory Kannada to
schools affiliated to the Central CBSE syllabus, especially for students
who hail from Karnataka, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education
Ramalinga Reddy told reporters on Saturday. Well seek the Law Departments
opinion before going ahead with this proposal. We can understand if the
children of officers who hail from other States dont study Kannada. But
there are many students in CBSE schools who opt to study French, Sanskrit
and other languages though their mother tongue is Kannada. They must learn
Kannada as a language, the language policy provides for this, Mr Reddy

The ministers statements were prompted by a letter from the Kannada
Sahitya Parishat and other Kannada organisations and activists, who have
said that they would launch a Mathrubhasha Madhyama Chalavali (campaign
for mother-tongue as the medium of instruction) on the lines of Gokak
movement. The activists have placed a charter of demands to promote
Kannada, including the introduction of Kannada in CBSE schools.

Mr Reddy urged the organisations to withdraw their proposed campaign, as
the government was committed to implement its language policy -- with
mother-tongue as the compulsory medium of instruction from classes I to V
However, legal hurdles have come in the way and he would discuss with the
Advocate-General how best to deal with the issue, he added.

Task force

The government will set up a task force over the next two days to monitor
schools that violate the language policy -- that is, Kannada medium
schools that teach in English. We have already initiated action against
unauthorised schools. Those that have been functioning for years have been
closed, Mr Reddy told reporters.  There are 225 such schools in Karnataka,
most of them in Bangalore. There are 87 in Bangalore North, 101 in
Bangalore South, 18 in Bangalore Rural, nine in Mysore and one each in
Mangalore and Dharwad.

In all, 115 schools have been closed, and the government is filing
criminal cases against 23 others. About 42 have been given approval as
they have the required infrastructure; approval for another 12 is pending,
while the remaining 25 have to be inspected, he revealed.

Mahiti Sindhu

The government will take over the implementation of the Mahiti Sindhu
computer education programme for government high schools, Mr Reddy said.
So far, the programme has been outsourced to three private companies
through memoranda of understanding. These contracts end in December 2005.


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