Karnataka starts minding its language

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Mon Oct 2 08:11:34 UTC 2006

After 12 long years, Karnataka starts minding its language

Jaishankar Jayaramiah

Bangalore One of the merits of Bangalore (fluent English) that enabled the
garden city to pull multi-crore IT/ITeS business and create lakhs of job
opportunities in the past, may not last for long. For, the ruling Janata
Dal (Secular)-BJP coalition government has locked horns with schools in
the state with regarding to teaching English to the upcoming generation.
The state was stunned when the government de-recognised around 1,400
schools with a single stroke, for violating the states language policy
that insisted that educational institutions launched after 1994 should
have Kannada as a medium of instruction. The government threatened to
close down schools that were teaching in English and shift around 2.7 lakh
plus students to other recognised schools after the October 10 deadline.
However, following strong criticism from all quarters, primary and
secondary education minister Basavaraj Horatti took a U turn and announced
that the government would allow students to continue their studies in same
schools this academic year, till June 2007. But institutions violating the
language policy beyond this deadline would face stern action, he

Although the announcement put a temporary halt to the controversy, there
is widespread resentment among parents and students of the schools under
scanner. The public, urbanites in particular, could not digest political
intervention in the state's educational system. KS Krishna Iyer, secretary
general, Associated Managements of English Medium Schools in Karnataka
said, Schools still have the provision to file an appeal as per Section
130 of the Karnataka Education Act before the appropriate appellant
tribunal of the education department for re-affiliation. Although all
Kannadigas love their mother tongue, they fail to understand the hidden
agenda of the present coalition ministry that initiated the sudden action
against English-medium schools. Even though earlier governments lobbied in
favour of Kannada, this was the first time that the state had initiated
such a stringent action by issuing notices de-recognising the schools.

URL: http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=142083


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