One section each for Kannada, English in schools: CM

Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy said that his government would not effect hike in bus fares. He said that he would not risk such a move ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

“There is pressure on me to hike the tariff. The corporations are running under a loss. If I am not mistaken, they are incurring around Rs 15 crore losses every day, given that the petrol and diesel rates are constantly rising. We will, however, fix the loopholes and cut down the losses,” he said.

Bengaluru: Brushing aside apprehensions about the government’s decision to introduce English as a medium of instruction in 1,000 government schools, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said on Monday that these schools would be bilingual, where students would be given the choice of the language that they want to study in.

Speaking at an interaction ‘Karnataka Munnade’ with subject experts, Kumaraswamy said the schools would have different sections. While in one section subjects will be taught in Kannada, the other section will do so in English, he said.

Writer K Marulasiddappa said that the government should focus more on improving the quality of the government schools, as opposed to introducing English medium.

Filmmaker Nagathihalli Chandrashekar on the other hand highlighted the plight of Kannada medium schools. Citing the example of a school adopted by him, he said that the student strength had dropped from 200 to a mere 14. He said that the students, children of farmers and labourers, were being sent to English medium schools instead.

Agreeing with Marulasiddappa, Kumaraswamy said that government had shifted its focus towards improving the infrastructure in schools. “I want Kannada to survive. Even I studied in Kannada medium till SSLC. That’s the reason why we have given the parents/students the option to choose between Kannada and English medium,” he said.

Former IAS officer M R Srinivasamurthy said that the government was setting aside large sums of money towards providing subsidies to irrigation pumpsets, instead of addressing the transmission and distribution losses. He said that the subsidy amount had gone up from around Rs 3,000 crore in 2008 to Rs 11,250 this year.

Agreeing Kumaraswamy said as a result, the electricity supply companies were under great financial strain.

When an audience member pointed out that several of his ministerial colleagues were restricted to their districts alone, Kumaraswamy said went to the extent of calling them “taluk ministers”.

When his attention was drawn towards the controversial elevated corridor in Bengaluru, Kumaraswamy said that the government would ensure that there will not be any environmental degradation during project implementation. 

'Had thought about retirement'

The chief minister said he had decided to retire from active politics, after his party’s poor performance during the 2018 Assembly elections. “When my party secured only 37 seats, I decided to retire from politics. But that is when I got the call,” he said, referring to the call from the Congress leaders, seeking his party’s support to form the coalition government.

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One section each for Kannada, English in schools: CM

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