English poses threat to regional languages: Kambar

President of the 84th Kannada Sahitya Sammelana Chandrashekhar Kambar has strongly pleaded that education from pre-primary level to class 7 should be in Kannada medium and the private schools should be allowed to impart education from Class 8.

Delivering the presidential speech at the inaugural ceremony of the three-day annual literary festival on the University of Agricultural Sciences campus here on Friday, he said this is the only way to save Kannada language which is facing danger from the onslaught of English in every field.

Kambar said, “The English schools are run by elected representatives and businessmen and the education is being commercialised. The children, studying in government schools, look like destitutes for want of educational facilities. There has been no effort to strengthen the government schools either with infrastructure or academic excellence.”

Recalling how British educationist Lord Macaulay introduced English in education in India and subsequently made Indians believe and accept that English system was the best, Kambar said Indian psyche feared that it will remain backward if it does not embrace English. Till today, English has become inevitable in all walks of life in India and this tendency is dangerous to all the regional languages, he asserted.

Admitting that knowledge of English has become essential to be well informed and employed in the era of global competition, Kambar said gaining of basic knowledge about any subject in the mother tongue/regional language will always be valuable. To make this possible, there is a need to provide books about Science subjects, like Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology in Kannada medium and teach the subjects effectively to the students in Kannada,
he said.

Role of teachers

Kambar asserted that the role of teachers is very important in this regard. “Luckily, the relation between the students and teachers is still very good in our land. Both respect and trust each other. The teachers should develop the skill to teach in Kannada the subjects which they studied in English,” he added.

He was all praise for writers Shivaram Karanth and Kuvempu who could get Science-related books published in Kannada and distributed to the children at affordable prices.

He was also critical of the opposition for dubbing in Kannada. Channels like National Geographic and Discovery telecast valuable information in English and it is dubbed into other languages. Karnataka should also dub the contents into Kannada and beam it for the benefit of our children, Kambar said. 

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