With the pleas on State government’s contentious 1994 language policy scheduled to come up for hearing before the Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday, a section of educationists have written to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah urging him to re-examine the issue.
A number of writers, including Jnanpith awardee U.R. Ananthamurthy, Chandrashekhar Kambar, Chennaveera Kanavi among others have urged the Chief Minister to ensure that the medium of instruction is in the child’s mother tongue or in Kannada from class one to ten. However, they also said that the student could be allowed to pursue other languages as a subject.
The State’s language policy of 1994 states that the medium of instruction from class one to class four should be in Kannada or the child’s mother tongue.
The memorandum states that the issue has been pending for a long time and needs to be addressed with renewed political will to save, strengthen and promote Indian languages in general and Kannada in particular.
Niranjanradhya V.P., fellow, Centre for Child and the Law at the National Law School of India University here who signed the memorandum, said that most private schools use the hegemony of English as a market ideology which often leads to exploitation of children from lower and middle class backgrounds. “Studies across the world have shown that learning is better if the medium of instruction is in the child’s mother tongue,” he said.
The writers have also urged the government to effectively implement the administrative policy so that there are job opportunities for those who study in Kannada. The educationists have also urged Mr. Siddaramaiah to formulate an education policy that favours common schooling system.