'Learn Kannada' plan gets poor response

Academy reps say only few interested to learn; Dept says Academies should take steps to make classes interesting

Teaching Kannada for those who are interested to learn the language under the aegis of Kannada and Culture department has received poor response.

According to the project, which was started in 2011, the State Kannada and Culture Department had all provisions to take the help of five language academies (Kannada, Tulu, Konkani, Beary and Kodava) to implement the plan, but all efforts have gone in vain as very few have shown interest to learn Kannada, it is learnt.

According to the government circular, the academies get Rs 4,000 per month for the purpose, that includes Rs 3,000 for teachers and Rs 1,000 for the stationary. The academies can use money in addition and the government would reimburse it. The State government had released Rs 36,000 in first phase in 2011, but the project never became popular.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy Registrar Dr B Devdas Pai said that the Academy had completed one Kannada language course for one batch each in Sadashivaghada (near Karwar), Joida and Ramnagar, between August and October 2011 and certificates too were distributed.

The government circular says that even organisations can seek the help of the academies to conduct Kannada classes. The academy should appoint teachers, who conduct three classes in a week (of 2 hours duration). They have to conduct examination and distribute certificates. “The classes were started only in border areas; nobody showed interest in other parts, even in cities like Mangalore. Though the government had released around Rs 1 lakh for the programme, it was withdrawn later,” Pai said.

Tulu academy ready

Meanwhile, Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy Registrar B Chandrahas Rai said that the Academy has funds to conduct classes for two batches for three months. “However, nobody seems to be interested, not even the labourers from other states. If there are more number of people who are interested, we will teach Kannada in their own place, else we conduct classes in the academy office, but we have to get at least 10 members,” he said.

To a query on any request from any organisations, he said: “No organisation has contacted the academy for the purpose. If they come forward with a list of interested people, we will provide good tutors to them”.

‘We are waiting’

Karnataka Beary Sahitya Academy President Rahim Ucchil said that the Academy has conducted one batch in Mysore and two batches in Mangalore. “We are waiting for those who are interested to learn Kannada. We are targeting mainly poor labourers. We are ready to help the people who are in orphanages and those who are aged and can’t go for regular classes. But, only if some one contact us for the purpose, we can send a proposal to the government,” he said.

Make it interesting

When asked, Kannada and Culture Department Deputy Director Mangala Nayak said that the programme is very much alive and the department is ready to release funds if academies need. She also reiterated that the academies have to be creative and they have to design some programmes.

“They (Academies) can not tell that people are not interested, because they have to make it interesting. They should make it popular,” she said.

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