[lg policy] Karnataka: Siddalingaiah bats for Kannada medium education

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Sun Feb 1 18:25:20 UTC 2015

·  Siddalingaiah bats for Kannada medium education
     [image: Hassan district in-charge minister Dr.H.C.Mahadevappa visits
book stalls set up as part of Sahitya Sammelana at Shravanbelgola. Photo:
Prakash Hassan]
 Hassan district in-charge minister Dr.H.C.Mahadevappa visits book stalls
set up as part of Sahitya Sammelana at Shravanbelgola. Photo: Prakash

   Stressing the need for a non-violent massive movement for sustenance of
Kannada, Dr. Siddalingaiah, poet and president of 81st Akhila Bharatha
Kannada Sahitya Sammelana, called upon the public to join the movement and
be prepared for any sacrifice to succeed. Karnataka Government should
appeal the Centre for suitable amendments to facilitate primary schooling
in all languages of the eighth schedule of the constitution, he said in his
speech, delivered at the inauguration of the Sammelana.

The Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the issue of medium of instruction had
affected all regional languages. For the survival of these languages, the
Centre should bring in a national language policy. Chief Minister of
Karnataka should make efforts to create consensus among other states in
this regard.

“As these efforts may take a long time, till then, State Government should
have its own state language policy on the basis of the Right to Education
Act. The concept of mother tongue in the Section 29(2) F of the Act should
be redefined as mother tongue or state language”, Dr. Siddalingaiah said.
Further, he remarked if these things were implemented the uniform education
the division of schools as rich and poor would end. “Son of a minister, son
of a crorepathi son of a daily wage worker, a pourakarmika or a Prime
Minister will learn under one roof”, the poet said.

*Gram Panchayat schools*

Referring to decline in number of government schools in the state, he said
in the year 2013-14 the number of government primary schools came down by
159 compared to the previous year. However, in the same year the number of
private schools increased by 514. More than 24,000 posts of teachers had
remained vacant, prompting increase in single-teacher schools. As a result
many parents are admitting their children to private schools. He said all
government schools should be provided with basic necessities and they
should be named as Gram Panchayat Public Schools. English should be taught
as a language from the first standard effectively.

Responding to the recent controversy over division of Karnataka state, Dr.
Siddalingaiah said division of the state was not solution to the problems
faced by under developed regions of the state. The State Government should
exhibit commitment to improve backward areas as per the recommendations of
the Dr. D.M. Nanjundappa on regional imbalance.

*Kannada year*

Dr. Siddalingaiah urged the State Government to declare year 2015 as
Kannada Year to mark the centenary celebrations of Kannada Sahitya
Parishat. Through the year, all institutions, including private and
government, should dedicate one day in a week to celebrate Kannada day. On
this day seminars and discussions related to art and culture of Karnataka
could be organised, he added.

*Anti-Superstition Bill*

Dr. Siddalingaiah has demanded an effective anti-superstition bill to put
an end to harassment of innocents in the name of blind beliefs or
superstition. Women were being made to stay out of their houses during
their menstruation period in many villages. Rolling over plantain leaves
with left-over food is neither a Dharma nor a healthy practice, he said. “I
don’t oppose any belief or a practice which enhances man’s morale or
confidence. But oppose those hurts human dignity”, he said.

Expressing concern over instances of untouchability, Dr. Siddalingaiah said
he would wish to see children of all castes and communities sitting
together for lunch, prepared by a Dalit woman in schools. “People of upper
castes should also join hands with Dalits to eliminate the practice of
untouchability”, he said.


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