Mangalore: Reconsider English teaching policy

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon Mar 19 13:09:13 UTC 2007

Reconsider English teaching policy says MLC 'Mukhyamantri' Chandru -

MANGALORE March 19: Any decision to introduce English as a subject from
the first standard should be based on the collective wisdom of opinions
given by a set of experts, MLC `Mukhyamantri' Chandru has said. The
Government should not make it an issue of prestige or take a decision on
it bowing to extraneous reasons. English should not be taught at the cost
of Kannada, he said at the valedictory function of a two-day seminar on
"Teaching of English at the primary school level" organised by Mangalore
Taluk Retired Teachers' Association at Surathkal near here on Sunday.

`Easy to grasp'

Children found it easy to grasp any subject when it was taught to them in
the mother tongue, he said.Asserting that he was not against English or
teaching it as a subject in schools, Mr. Chandru said that blindly aping
the language and its culture forgetting indigenous roots was detrimental
to our own interests. Children should be taught English only after they
had a deep-seated knowledge of their own language and its culture, he
said. Such a foundation would enable them to assimilate the salient points
of a language in comparison with its culture, Mr. Chandru added.

Referring to the Government's decision to legalise schools that had
violated the language norm, Mr. Chandru said such a move was fraught with
inherent dangers. Government could legalise illegal buildings or
encroached land by levying a penalty. But to take such a step in the
language issue was not in the larger interests of society, he said. K.
Narahari, president, National Teachers' Federation, said the present ills
plaguing society was due to the system of education introduced by the

Stressing on the need to "Indianise" the education system, he said that
English should be taught to students based on the strengths of Indian
cultural and value systems and not based on a Western model. Effort should
be made by teachers to write Indian text books in English, he added. The
seminar encompassed detailed deliberations on the issue from the point of
view of teachers, managements, parents and educationists. Scholars and
experts presented papers on the issue. K. Balakrishna Bhat, former MLC,
welcomed the gathering. I. Balakrishna Rao, working president, presided
over the function.


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