State to accept applications for English medium schools

Abiding by High Court’s direction, the education department will accept applications from private institutions to start English medium schools, according to Minister for Primary Education, Kimmane Rathnakar. However, the State government is yet to take a stand on its language policy.

Speaking after a meeting that was convened to discuss the State’s language policy at Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in City, on Thursday, Rathnakar said “they can apply provided they satisfy all the terms and conditions. It is after various rounds of meetings and consultation a final decision would be taken.”

While abiding by the HC’s direction, it appears that the State government is still keen on pushing for Kannada as medium of instruction in schools.

For, he said the State would soon apply for a curative petition in the Supreme Court. This comes after the review petition by the State government was dismissed in September.
Rathnakar also said the government would explore other possibilities that fall within the ambit of law to have Kannada as medium of instruction.

“We will seek support from MPs and MLAs for the same,” he added.

 Based on the suggestions given in the meeting, Rathnakar said the department was contemplating on having a meeting with education ministers of all states.

Noted poets Chandrashekar Kambar and K S Nisar Ahmed, Minister for Women & Child Development, Umashree and other SSA officials attended the meeting.

Ahmed opined that introduction of Kannada at a tender age would ensure students grasped the language better.

“This is the right age to lay a foundation. We are not fanatical about having Kannada as medium for instruction. However, it would be better that children be taught the language at a young age,” he said adding “poets like T S Eliot are my inspiration. English, like most of us did, can also be picked up in higher classes.” Even as November 29 was the last deadline given to schools for complying with new safety norms, the work remains incomplete.

Ranthnakar said that he would look into the matter and give a new deadline if need be.
The Block Education Officer (BEO) remained mute about the private school where a three year old was allegedly raped running classes above Standard VI even as they did not have permission for the same. The minister said he would call the BEO and seek an explanation for the same.

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