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Updated: November 2, 2013 03:22 IST

Kannada schools won’t be closed down: Chief Minister

Special Correspondent
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Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at the inauguration of Rajyotsava celebrations at Sri Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore on Friday. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy
The Hindu Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at the inauguration of Rajyotsava celebrations at Sri Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore on Friday. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Focus will be on upgrading government schools and providing quality education, says Siddaramaiah

The State government will not shut down any Kannada-medium school in the State, irrespective of the poor enrolment, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said here on Friday.

Speaking at the Rajyotsava function, he said that the focus will be on upgrading government schools and providing quality education.

The earlier decision of the government to close down schools with enrolment of less than 10 children and merging them with other schools had created a controversy, with Kannada activists and educational experts condemning the move.

Medium issue

Reiterating the government’s commitment to the policy on medium of instruction, Mr. Siddaramaiah said that while there is no bar on learning English or any other language, there is a need to make a clear distinction between the issue of language learning and medium.

Children who learn in their mother tongues are more discerning and in tune with the world around them, he said.

The government would also chalk out programmes to make the classical language status accorded to Kannada more meaningful, said Mr. Siddaramaiah.

Kannada atmosphere

He urged the people to “create a Kannada atmosphere” in cities such as Bangalore, so that non-Kannada migrants are inspired to learn the language.

He said that every Kannadiga should “introspect” on whether he is indeed a Kannadiga in terms of a commitment to “learn, speak, teach and spread the language”. He added that being liberal need not mean having no pride in one’s own language and culture.

Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education Kimmane Ratnakar said that the government is committed to promoting education among the downtrodden, with programmes such as Ksheera Bhagya giving it an added impetus.

The Rajyotsava celebrations included presentation of cultural programmes by schoolchildren from across the State, reflecting the cultural diversity.

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