35 schools in Dakshina Kannada allowed to teach in English

Dakshina Kannada and Mandya Zilla Panchayats have introduced instruction in English medium for class 6 in 50 government schools from the second semester which began this month.

According to sources in the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat, the move is aimed at saving government schools from being closed down for lack of students, sources told The Hindu.

Classes for the sixth standard were being conducted both in Kannada and English medium simultaneously. The children in the Kannada medium were given an option to switch over to the English medium if they so desired. For those who did not want to shift, classes were being continued in Kannada medium, the sources said. They said that a special training was given to select teachers in those schools last month for teaching in English medium.

The Department of Public Instruction, through an order of August 8, 2012 (a copy of which is with The Hindu) permitted 50 government schools in the State – 15 in Mandya district and 35 in Dakshina Kannada – to introduce instruction in English medium from class 6 by opening additional sections from 2012-13.

The Deputy Directors of Public Instruction from the two districts had sought permission from the department for introducing English medium by utilising the services of existing teachers teaching in Kannada medium. The order says that if there was a need for additional teachers, schools should submit proposals for the same to the respective block education officers (BEOs). It said that for the present, the existing teachers should teach in English medium and headmasters should take special interest to prepare existing teachers to teach in English medium.

Raghuveer Shenoy, president, School Development and Monitoring Committee, Government Higher Primary School, Moodbidri Main, told The Hindu that the school introduced the English medium from this month. There were 20 children in English medium and 15 children in Kannada medium which would continue in the coming years.

He said that the children were chosen for English medium by conducting an examination for which 38 children from class 6 from the school appeared. Of them, 18 who had scored above 60 per cent were selected for the English medium. Mr. Shenoy said that two students for the English medium were admitted from other schools.

Mr. Shenoy said introducing English medium in government schools would break the monopoly of private schools which he alleged charged hefty fee and collected donation in different forms.

Aithappa Naik, headmaster, government higher primary school, Uppinangady, Puttur taluk, which had introduced the English medium, said it would be an opportunity for poor children to learn in English medium at free of cost. Poor children could not afford hefty fee in private schools.

Mr. Naik said that five government schools in Puttur taluk, including his school, had introduced English medium for class 6 from this July expecting the Government Order.

There were qualified teachers who had studied in English medium to teach in English in his school, he said.

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