Karnataka academicians oppose HD Kumaraswamy's move to introduce English-medium teaching in govt schools

The Karnataka state government announced on Saturday that it would ensure that English is used as the medium of language in government schools. The initiative seeks to try out English-medium sections in 1,000 government schools at first, and will be applicable to all classes, including kindergarten.

In the budget announcement, the HD Kumaraswamy government also said that it has identified around 28,847 government and aided schools with low admission rates, and will merge them with 8,530 other schools closest to them.

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy and his deputy G Parameshwara. PTI

Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy and his deputy G Parameshwara. PTI

The proposals, though announced with an aim to improve the standard of education in government schools, has attracted a wide range of reactions along with initiating an English versus Kannada debate in Karnataka. Some critics slammed the government saying that the move will destroy the government education system in the state, others claimed the Kumaraswamy govt's plan will "bring down curtains for Kannada as a medium of instruction".

VP Niranjanaradhya, an education expert, as Deccan Chronicle reported claimed that the government is trying to “mislead the public” while terming it an “unscientific” move.

He said that the state did not have enough teachers qualified to do the job. He added that the government should have prepared itself to carry out the proposed initiative before announcing it.

The report also quoted child rights activist Nagasimha G Rao. “The schools do not have qualified teachers to teach in English. The government needs to invest in training teachers” he said.

The Kannada Development Authority (KDA) has also opposed the move strongly. According to the Hindu, the committee’s chairman SG Siddaramaiah said that having English-medium sections along with Kannada-medium ones means “curtains for the concept of Kannada as a medium of instruction for which the KDA and the previous government have been fighting for long”.

The report also said that the committee asked to stop the closure of government schools and start imparting Kannada. Siddaramaiah said that learning in one’s mother tongue was the most scientific and natural way of learning.

However, state primary and secondary education minister N Mahesh, has supported the move. According to another report on the Hindu, the minister said, “This (move) is because government school enrolments are declining as private schools offer education in English” he said.


Updated Date: Jul 08, 2018 17:13 PM

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