‘Permission should not be given to new CBSE and ICSE schools'

Writer Mahabaleshwara Rao has urged the State government to make Kannada medium compulsory up to class 10.

He was presiding over the inaugural function of the one-day Udupi Taluk Kannada Sahitya Sammelan organised by the Udupi Taluk Kannada Sahitya Parishath here on Sunday.

Mr. Rao, who heads the sammelan, said the State government should not give permission to start any school with CBSE, ICSE or international syllabi in the State for the next decade. The destruction of Kannada medium began during the S.M. Krishna government and had been continuing to the present day, in spite of the State government's claim to have spent Rs. 250 crore for Kannada.

The infatuation with the policy of liberalisation had led to extraordinary importance to privatisation. This had developed a mentality that English language was the be-all and end-all of education.

Consequently, English-medium schools had mushroomed throughout the State. Kannada textbooks for schools should be made freely available in the market instead of being supplied by the government, he said.

Warning

The policies pursued by the present government would force many Kannada- medium schools to shutdown, he said.

“The Government should show the same enthusiasm in making Kannada medium compulsory, which it had been showing while promoting English medium. What is important is not the statistics of funds spent on Kannada, but how the funds are utilised,” he said.

Mr. Rao said there should be 50 per cent reservation in government jobs for those who had studied in Kannada medium till class 10.

‘Give Priority'

Those who had studied in Kannada medium should be given priority in Information Technology, Biotechnology and private sector. Kannada software should be taught compulsorily in government-sponsored schools and colleges.

“Mahiti Kanaja”, the Kannada equivalent of English “Wikipedia”, should be developed, he said.

Political parties should have a pro-people and scientific approach to environmental issues which were dogging the district.

They should promote sustainable development, instead of changing their stand with an eye on power, Mr. Rao said.

‘Teach English also'

In his inaugural speech, Minister for Higher Education V.S. Acharya said it was necessary to teach English along with Kannada in schools so that students did not lose the competitive edge. Provision would be made for Kannada Bhavan at either Karanth Kalagrama or at District Offices Complex in Manipal he said.

Writers Gananath Yekkar, Ambatanaya Mudrady, and Muralidhara Upadhya Hiriyadka, MLA Lalaji Mendon, and the former Minister Vasanth Salian were present.

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