Govt sets deadline for compulsory Kannada in classes I, II

Govt sets deadline for compulsory Kannada in classes I, II

Govt sets deadline for compulsory Kannada in classes I, II

The Department of Public Instruction wants schools to teach Kannada as the first or second language in Classes I and II in the 2018-19 academic year.

This is as per the Kannada Language Learning (KLL) Act.

The department has directed heads of all private schools to use the Student Achievement Tracking System portal and enter the choice of their students - Kannada as the first language or second.

Based on this, February 10 is the deadline for block education officers (BEO) and deputy directors of public instruction (DDPIs) to find out their requirement of Kannada textbooks.

According to the rules framed under the KLL Act, Kannada should have been introduced in Class I in the 2017-18 academic year.

Now, with Kannada slated to become compulsory from 2018-19, it will be extended to other classes with each passing year. By 2027, Kannada will be taught from Class I-X.

The decision to make Kannada compulsory was taken after the government lost a two-decade-old legal battle in the Supreme Court on making Kannada the medium of instruction.

Karnataka has 1.13 crore students in 78,146 schools. Of them, nearly 50,000 schools are government-run.

A section of private schools, however, have slammed the move to make Kannada compulsory.

"There are genuine issues. Some schools don't even have a Kannada teacher," said Shalini Rajneesh, principal secretary (primary and secondary education).

"We plan to offer private schools e-learning tools and also train their primary teachers. We want to make the policy amenable," she said.

Any school that refuses to offer Kannada as first or second language as per the KLL Act will lose recognition, Shalini said.

"The Act and rules are very clear. What else can we do but derecognise schools?"