Software icon Murthy moots three-language formula in schools

Software icon Murthy moots three-language formula in schools

Software icon N R Narayana Murthy has advocated a three-language formula in Indian schools to boost employment opportunities and slammed people in power who are advocating only local language education for the poor while sending their wards to English-medium institutions.

"All the leaders that I know of – whether corporate leaders, bureaucrats, politicians – they send their children to English-medium schools. Why are they saying it's (English- medium education) is bad for poorer people?", the Co-Founder of Infosys asked.

Murthy was speaking at a function here last night to release the book 'Upwordly Mobile' written by Ranjini Manian, Founder and CEO of cross-cultural training and services firm Global Adjustment.

"So, if we want the poorer people also to have opportunities, then we have to create opportunities for poorer people also to allow them learn whatever they want."

Murthy, Chairman Emeritus at the Bangalore-headquartered, NASDAQ-listed IT major, admitted that "the sad thing about all of us, including me...older people is that we make decisions with our mindset."

"We make decisions with our capability. We think that children are limited in their capability as I am at my age. That's not true. My personal feeling is that children are extremely smart," he said.

Murthy called for creating a policy whereby every child is given full freedom to pursue mother-tongue, the language of the country and English.

"Every child can learn all the three languages very comfortably. Therefore, the child will have (employment) opportunities in the state, opportunities within the country and opportunities within the globe," Murthy said.

"So, it's just a question of taking hard decision and it's just a question of our realising that our children have enormous potential. Let us try this three-language formula."
Giving an example, he said a child from Maharashtra coming to study in any grade in Karnataka should be made to learn Kannada of Class I standard, as he stressed the need to respect state language and benefit from local culture.

"Whenever anybody comes from other states, as long as their children start with first year (learning the local language) in whatever languages Kannada...Tamil...or whatever state they are in, that is okay. Then children will learn the language and it is easy for them and at the same time they respect the (local) culture and language of the state," he observed.

"Not just for Westerners, for people who come from other states, I think it is important to learn the local language. It is not to make you more efficient, more productive but to appreciate the nuances of the culture and to appreciate all the good things that the culture offers," he added.

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