It will be the third optional language from sixth standard

As many as 12,000 students may choose Tulu as the third optional language from sixth standard in primary schools in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts from 2010-11, according to Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy.

The Government recently issued an order to introduce Tulu as the third optional language from sixth standard from the next academic year, fulfilling a longstanding demand of the academy.

President of the academy Palthady Ramakrishna Achar told The Hindu that according to an assessment, 12,000 students from the two districts are interested in learning Tulu. A majority of them are from Dakshina Kannada. “In Udupi, only about 2,000 students are likely to opt for Tulu because in some rural parts of that district, Kannada is a prominent spoken language,” he said.

No Tulu script

The president said that according to the GO, Tulu should be taught in Kannada script and not Tulu script.

Justifying this, he said that if Tulu script was introduced at the sixth standard level, it might discourage students from opting for it. Tulu script could be introduced from eighth standard onwards, he said.

Mr. Achar said that the Government was expected to issue another order shortly constituting two committees: one to prepare a textbook and another to advise on the method of teaching. The Government had finalised the members of these committees based on the recommendations of the academy, he said.

He said that the academy would conduct a workshop at the Town Hall here on April 26 to sensitise officials of the Department of Public Instruction on the importance of Tulu and the need to teach it in schools. In addition to Block Education Officers (BEOs), resource persons of Block Resource Centres and Cluster Resource Centres of the department would be asked to attend it, he said.

Why teach Tulu?

Mr. Achar said that Tulu was a common language spoken by the people here, irrespective of religion and caste. Students could grasp the text easily and improve their Tulu vocabulary. “I am sure that this will help students become more creative and aware of the local culture and traditions,” he said.

The academy had suggested to the Government to print 8,000 textbooks initially. “Additional textbooks can be printed later, depending on the demand,” he said.

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