'Eng medium to be extended to govt schools in future'

'Eng medium to be extended to govt schools in future'

Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara on Monday reiterated that the coalition government had taken a policy decision that the medium of instruction in 1,000 government schools would be English from 2019-20.

He was addressing reporters on the sidelines of a function in the city. The deputy chief minister said, “I stand by my statement. Karnataka is a progressive state and there is a need to prepare our children for national and international competitions. English will be introduced as a medium of instruction. We should teach our children English in addition to Kannada. There is also a need to protect our local language (Kannada), there is no harm in teaching English. This is the 21st century,” he said.

He said, in the first phase, English will be introduced as a medium of instruction in 1,000 government schools and this will be gradually extended to all schools.

Parameshwara said, earlier English was introduced from class V. But now, it will be from class I.

There will also be a third language, so that children are better prepared for the future. The government is working on the required infrastructure, the deputy chief minister said.

He said the government had taken a decision to set up science centres in all districts. The onus of setting them up and maintaining them would be on the science and technology department and the education department.

P C Jaffer, commissioner for public instruction, said work to impart training to teachers to implement the order on English medium had already started.

“We will train our teachers and do not want to hire private school teachers. The department officials will visit different states to assess and choose the best model,” he said. 

He said there are 48,000 government schools in Karnataka. The department has identified 276 in the first phase for introducing English medium.

It has already been introduced in 143 Karnataka public schools. Things will be finalised in a fortnight and there will be clarity on subjects like environmental science and maths.

Jaffer said that the student strength in government schools in the state had come down. The average strength in a government primary school is 88, but in the private schools, it is up to 210, the officer added.