Kambar bats for Kannada in schools
Jnanpith award winner Chandrashekhara Kambar on Friday suggested that all schools having classes from the lower kindergarten (LKG) to Standard 10 must be run by the government and that the medium of instruction up to class 10 must be in Kannada.
Kambar, noting that there is a wide divide between students who pass out of private, English medium schools and those passing out of government-run, Kannada-medium schools said: “This can be removed only when the government runs all the primary and high schools. They can allow any private management to run educational institutions from the PU level.”
His justification for having Kannada as the medium of instruction was that only mother tongue can provide an experience, which is an integral part of learning and learning through any other language only gives people information, which makes them less competent.
“I am not saying that one should not learn English. All I am saying is that learn even English through Kannada, because it is essential to have an experience when one is learning and being merely suffocated by information will not take us far. Even learn Japanese if you feel it is necessary but don’t compromise on having Kannada as the medium in primary and high school,” Kambar explained.
Citing the example of the China, where the medium of instruction is limited to its dialects/languages, Chandrashekhara Kambar said: “That is why they are able to excel in all fields. Because they learn the subjects, not only language.”
When pointed out that English had become the key to earning a livelihood, the writer said: “It is inappropriate to bring in such an argument. Nobody is asking you not to learn that language. You decide whether you want to learn just a language for your livelihood or subjects of interest that can help you earn your bread”