[Lgpolicy-list] [lg policy] Post-High Court order, Karnataka schools rush to switch to English medium

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Fri Nov 28 22:34:06 UTC 2014


Post-HC order, Karnataka schools rush to switch to English medium
By ET Bureau | 28 Nov, 2014, 04.00AM IST





[image: This follows a recent High Court order that allowed a privately-run
society to start a new school with English as the medium.]This follows a
recent High Court order that allowed a privately-run society to start a new
school with English as the medium.

BENGALURU: Thousands of schools are likely to approach the Karnataka
education department seeking permission to "officially" switch over to
English as the medium of instruction. This follows a recent High Court
order that allowed a privately-run society to start a new school with
English as the medium.

The Associated Managements of English Medium
<http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/topic/English-Medium> School in
Karnataka (KAMS) and Karnataka State Private School Management Federation
have asked its member-schools to approach the government seeking either
conversion of medium or for permission to run Classes 1-5 in English. There
are close to 4,000 English-medium schools in Bengaluru
<http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/topic/Bengaluru>, but those started
after April 1994 were permitted to run Classes 1-5 in Kannada
<http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/topic/Kannada> under the state's
language policy, which was struck down by the Supreme Court in May this
year.

Even after the SC direction, the government had been insisting on Kannada
in Classes 1-5. But it is an open secret that they are offering English as
the medium. "We will submit our proposals again seeking conversion to
English medium. If we don't, the government would consider us as
unauthorized schools for offering English medium," said KAMS general
secretary D Shashi Kumar. Part of the rush could be contained, thanks to
the government laying down stringent norms for starting new schools.

New schools mandatorily require to have one acre of land in Bengaluru, have
to pay a steep registration fee (ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh),
comply with safety guidelines and restrict strength of classrooms to a
predefined number. "We have asked the government to convert our medium
without levying these regulations as we are existing schools," Kumar said.

"This is a policy matter. The government will take the final decision. The
2015-16 academic year starts next June and we have time till then to
decide. Meanwhile, we will continue receiving applications," Commissioner
for Public Instruction Mohammad Mohsin told ET.

Chandan Gowda, professor of sociology at Azim Premji University, told ET
that the High Court order only reflects only one reality: that parents -
who can afford - prefer English education for their children.

"I don't think this will lead to a rush in applications to start new
English schools because in the last 18-20 years, schools are anyway using
English as the medium," Gowda said.

Some educationists, however, believe Kannada must not be ignored. "In the
context of these court judgements, we must also be sensitive that Kannada
is the language of the state. Our language policy should be broader," said
Mansoor Ali Khan, member, board of management, Delhi Public School.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/education/post-hc-order-karnataka-schools-rush-to-switch-to-english-medium/articleshow/45302362.cms

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