CM may opt for English-Kannada mix in govt schools

CM may opt for English-Kannada mix in govt schools

A government school classroom. DH File Photo

The government, it is learnt, is reconsidering its decision to introduce English medium in 1,000 government schools, following backlash from pro-Kannada groups and writers.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who came under attack for making such an announcement in his maiden budget in July 2018, is looking at introducing both English and Kannada in the 1,000 schools on an experimental basis.

Kumaraswamy, who is said to have given inprinciple approval for the Primary and Secondary Education department’s recommendation, may announce it in his budget on Friday. According to official sources, subjects will be taught in both languages simultaneously. “We are yet to finetune the nitty-gritty of this proposal as it is still in the conception stage,” said department officials, when asked if the students will be given the opportunity to write exams in the medium of their preference.

The department, which was allocated Rs 984 crore for implementing various programmes during the previous budget (excluding the salary component of more than Rs 23,000 crore), has sought Rs 2,000 crore for the same in this year’s budget. It has been imparting training in English to teachers in the 1,000 identified schools across taluks.

Kumaraswamy’s plans had also gone against his coalition partner’s stand, with Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah taking strong exception to it.

“We must have clarity on learning Kannada as a language and Kannada as a medium of education. Kannada was the medium in which I studied till high school. Am I stupid? Kannada should remain the supreme language in Karnataka,” Siddaramaiah had said.

Soon after Siddaramaiah made his stand apparent, Kumaraswamy’s brother and Public Works Minister H D Revanna had jumped to the latter’s defence.

“If the children of Revanna can study in English medium schools, shouldn’t the underprivileged too have access to such schools? I support the move to start English education in government schools,” he had said.