[lg policy] 'Karnataka must have its language policy'

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Mon Apr 6 15:56:00 UTC 2015

'Karnataka must have its language policy'
TNN | Apr 6, 2015, 01.12 AM IST

DHARWAD: The two-day brainstorming session on introducing mother
tongue/regional language as the medium of instruction at the primary level,
which concluded at Dharwad on Sunday, came out with the Dharwad Declaration.

It urges the government to amend the Constitution to enable elected
governments to take pro-people decisions.

The session, attended by leading writers, teachers, politicians, social
activists, legal experts and other stake holders, discussed various aspects
concerning the medium of instruction before finally coming out with the

The Declaration welcomed the Karnataka government for passing a Bill
seeking to make mother tongue/regional language the medium of instruction
from class 1 to 10 in the state. It also urged the state government to have
its own language and education policies. In the absence of such policies,
courts are coming up with verdicts in favour of strong lobbies that seek to
commercialize education, the Declaration said.

In this direction, the state government should take over primary education
and Parliament should bring amendments to article 21 of the Constitution to
enable states to provide education in the regional language on the common
and neighbourhood principle.

The other declarations are: * The standard of all schools should be raised
to that of Kendriya Vidyalayas. * Arrangement should be made to teach
English as a language effectively in schools from class 1 and teachers
should be trained properly to teach English language well. * India has
signed an agreement with the UN, that it's the responsibility of the
government to provide education, health and protection to every child till
the age of 18. The government should formulate laws to ensure this. * The
government should publish and make available books in science, humanities
and social science at a higher level of education in the regional language.
* While community participation in improving the standard of government
schools is desirable, it should not be given to NGOs or corporate houses. *
The government should not involve NGOs or the corporate sector in
formulating education policies. It should utilize the expertise of the
people. * Rein in private educational institutions that have taken
permission to teach in regional languages but are teaching in the English
medium. Punish those violating rules. * The meet expressed concern over the
commercialization of education by private educational institutions in the
neo-liberal era by using the provisions of the Constitution. * The meet
seeks to expand its sphere of activity by launching a struggle to safeguard
the interest of all oppressed people by forming a federation of
organizations fighting for the same cause.

Earlier in the day, Janata Dal (S) leader YSV Datta regretted that the
judiciary was overriding the legislature. Datta said amendment to the
Constitution is the only way out to make mother tongue/regional language
the medium of instruction at schools.

GV Shriramreddy of the CPM blamed commercialization of education for the
present crisis. He said the poor and downtrodden were denied education in
the past on the ground of caste and untouchability, and are now deprived of
education for not being able to spend money. "Education and language cannot
be separated. To have a good education, language is a must. The time has
come to formulate policies that help a large number of people gain
education. It needs political will," Reddy said.

Retired district judge Jinadatta Desai termed the 86th amendment to the
Constitution introduced in 2002 as a big blow to education as it was in
favour of the lobby that aimed at commercializing education. The people
should raise their voice against injustice and press the governments to
bring in a suitable amendment to the Constitution if the law was coming in
the way of taking pro-people decisions, he asserted.


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