Medium muddle: Students, parents caught in crossfire

Medium muddle: Students, parents caught in crossfire

The confrontation between private schools and the govt over medium of instruction has put the studnets in quandary. DH FILE PHOTO

Armed with a High Court order, the private schools are going ahead with their programme for the  academic year. But the Government is in a defiant mood. In the last few days, the Department of Public Instruction has gone public listing over 160 schools as unauthorised.
Despite this, nearly 2,000 schools across the State will begin the academic year with the help of the Karnataka High Court order. The Court had ruled that the parents had the sole authority to choose the medium of instruction for their wards. The private unaided schools will begin the classes with bold notices put up in their premises. These schools will go by the court order, daring the government’s derecognition move.

Last year, several parents had transferred their children to other schools from institutions that faced the threat of derecognition due to the language policy. One such parent, Sheela had to move her daughter to a Central school.

 “My daughter studied really well at a English medium school in Yelahanka. I had to  move her to a central school on account of uncertainity. The education imparted was excellent as my daughter was easily able to cope up with the new syllabus and curriculum” Sheela added. This year, the problems are bound to get only worse.

On April 6, 2009, the High Court had directed the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to accept applications submitted by the private schools to begin the academic year with  English as a medium of instruction. When the Department failed to acknowledge the application, it was directed to accept applications over a span of four weeks.

The DPI later began accepting the applications but in return gave an endorsement stating that the case was pending in the Supreme Court as sought by the State.  Thus no further action has been taken by the government later to resolve the issue of derecognition.

KUSMA gung-ho

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Unaided Schools Management Association (KUSMA) is determined to obey the HC order. On the schools’ plight, G S Sharma, president, KUSMA, said, “The order has bestowed upon parents the right to choose the medium of instruction. It has also stated teaching in English is not a crime. The schools do not care for the government order, but will abide by the High Court order”.

The DPI has begun to release the list of derecognised schools and unauthorised schools. On the derecognised schools, an education officer said, “Endorsements have been given to the derecognised schools but the hearing at the Apex Court is awaited for further action.”

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