[lg policy] Bangalore: Language policy won't haunt English medium schools this year

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Sun Apr 24 21:44:30 UTC 2011

Language policy won�t haunt English medium schools this year
Published: Saturday, Apr 23, 2011, 9:02 IST
By Srikanth Hunasavadi | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Thanks to central government’s delay in filing its affidavit to
Supreme Court on compulsory primary education in mother tongue policy,
the controversy on the issue will not haunt this academic year
bringing relief to lakhs of students and parents in the state. The
Supreme Court has not taken up the issue for hearing since last April.
The state government is pointing fingers at the Union government, as
the latter too has been made party to the case.

The Union government has not came up with a firm decision on
implementing the policy, and English medium schools are only too happy
as the court has instructed the education department that till the
final order of the court, it should not disturb the schools.

“We are not delaying the hearing; in fact, we are ready for arguments.
But now the ball is in the Union government’s court. It has not filed
a reply to court and it has not clarified its stand on the compulsory
primary education in the vernacular language. Even we have discussed
the issue with Union human resources minister Kapil Sibal during our
recent visit. They still haven’t taken any action,” Vishweshwar Hegde
Kageri, minister for primary and secondary education told DNA.

He further added, “If necessary we will take up the issue with Kapil
Sibal once again. Our stand is very clear that the medium of
instruction for primary education should be in Kannada for Karnataka.”

However, KV Dhananjay, advocate representing English medium schools,
said, “There is only one reason for the delay in the hearing of the
language policy case and that is the state government’s refusal to
come to the Supreme Court to argue when the case is called out. On two
different occasions in early 2010, they failed to turn up at the
Supreme Court.”

“It was last listed on April 30, 2010. Thereafter, on five different
occasions, the matter should have been listed but they mysteriously
dropped out of the list,” he said.

“Due to the fact that all cases before the chief justice has been
transferred to Court 2 comprising justices Altamas Kabir and Cyriac
Joseph, I made a mention before Court 2 even on Thursday.
Unfortunately, presumably due to the fact that justice Cyriac Joseph
presided over the judgment of the same issue in Karnataka high court
in the language policy, Court 2 expressed its inability to be of any
help to us,” said KV Dhananjay.

“We are now compelled to file a special application before the chief
justice of India asking for an early listing. Further, the central
government has very little role in this case,” he added. However,
parents and children could heave a sigh of relief as there would be no
confrontation between the state and English medium schools over the
language issue.


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