[lg policy] Karnataka exploits Right to Education Act in language policy case

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jan 1 16:01:29 UTC 2010

Karnataka exploits Right to Education Act in language policy case

Published On: 23rd December 2009

By Praveen Singh

The state government of Karnataka is using the Right to Education Act,
2009 to bolster the case of Kannada as the compulsory medium of
instruction in schools from class one to five. The state government is
involved in a legal battle in the Supreme Court over the issue of
language policy case.   The Karnataka government is raising the point
from the Right to Education Act that clearly dictates that the medium
of instruction shall be the child’s mother tongue. According to the
state government order, Kannada has been the medium of instruction in
primary schools. A full bench of the High Court had then reversed the
decision on July 2, 2008 for making Kannada as the medium of

As per the section 29 (f) of the Right to Education Act, it is the
responsibility of the academic authority to make mother tongue as the
medium of instruction of the students. The state government has been
following the same rule while laying down the curriculum and
evaluation procedure of education. In its additional statement, the
state government has supported its decision of providing
infrastructure to offer education in the mother tongue of the child.
The state government is carrying out its duties in the case of
language policy according to the law enacted by the Centre.

In July 2008, the language policy of the state was turned down by a
full bench of the Karnataka High Court. Thereafter, the Right to
Education Act, 2009, had to play its part on the language policy which
favors the state government. The Karnataka High Court had earlier
denied the state a power to make a rule regarding the medium of
instruction in schools. Whether the mode of instruction should be the
mother tongue or Kannada in unaided schools, the state can make a rule
on it. The state had made Kannada the obligatory medium of instruction
from class one to five in schools.

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