Fewer schools flouting compulsory Kannada rule

Fewer schools flouting compulsory Kannada rule

According to the Compulsory Kannada Learning Act 2015, it is mandatory for schools in the state to teach Kannada as the first or second language

The implementation of compulsory Kannada at schools in Karnataka has been progressing well as the number of schools violating the Compulsory Kannada Language Learning Act 2015 has come down by half in two years.

According to data available from the state department of public instruction during the 2019-20 academic year, a mere 20 schools have failed to fall in line and have received notices for not implementing the act. The number was 43 during 2017-18.

The state has over 21,585 private unaided schools, including CBSE and ICSE boards. According to department officials, all the 20 schools are affiliated to CBSE and ICSE boards. "Surprise visits by the department and Kannada Development Authority are among the main reasons for the effective implementation of the Compulsory Kannada Learning Language Act," said a senior official from the department.

According to the Compulsory Kannada Learning Act 2015, it is mandatory for schools in the state to teach Kannada as the first or second language. This was implemented from 2017. The schools initially refused to implement it citing certain reasons and some schools still teach one more language unofficially as the second language along with Kannada, citing "pressure from the parents".

Meanwhile, the demand from experts and pro-Kannada activists to introduce stringent penal measures is pending with the department. Under the existing norms, schools are levied Rs 500 penalty the first time and Rs 100 a day. "

"We had requested the department to revise the penalty early on and it is still under consideration," said T S Nagabharana, chairman, KDA.

However, KDA authorities opine that the number of schools violating the norms may be higher since there was inadequate monitoring due to the lockdown. "The lockdown has slowed down the process and the monitoring was not that effective this year," said Nagabharana.