Compulsory Kannada: Onus on local officials, says Min

The responsibility to ensure implementation of compulsory Kannada Act at schools across the state will now be on officers of the department of public instruction at the local level. (Image for representation)

The responsibility to ensure implementation of compulsory Kannada Act at schools across the state will now be on officers of the department of public instruction at the local level.

S R Srinivas, who took charge as primary and secondary education minister, warned all Deputy Directors of Public Instructions (DDPIs) and Block Education Officers (BEOs) to ensure 100% implementation of Compulsory Kannada Act or else get ready to face action. 

Srinivas told reporters on Wednesday, “As per the Act, every school functioning in the state, including those affiliating to CBSE and ICSE boards, must teach Kannada as first or the second language.”

Following the recent media reports on some of the private schools expressing their inconvenience in implementing Compulsory Kannada Act, the minister said, “It is a state Act and it is mandatory for schools to follow it. Instead of taking action against the schools for violation, I will instruct higher officials to take action against department officers at the local level.”

However, private schools in the state demanded that the minister get an order issued from the Central government. D Shashi Kumar, general secretary, Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, said, “We hope the minister convenes a meeting with us and understands the real difficulties in implementing the Compulsory Kannada Act. The private schools are not against implementing Kannada, but the authorities concerned and the government must know the difficulties we are facing.”

“When it comes to schools affiliated to ICSE board, there is provision to learn only two languages. But parents from other states migrating to Karnataka for the purpose of jobs are demanding that their children should be taught their mother tongues. Even schools are helpless. Considering this, let the state government convince and request the Human Resource Development Ministry to issue an official order on teaching Kannada,” Kumar said. The minister also pointed out the illegal functioning of schools in the state.

“I am aware of schools which have got permission to teach state syllabus, but are teaching syllabus of other boards. I will convene a meeting at district level. If the illegal functioning is proved, action will be initiated against the school management concerned,” said Srinivas.

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