Schools change second and third languages

Several schools have made Kannada the second language this academic year, but parents unhappy with the ‘abrupt’ implementation

Worried about the consequences of ignoring the Kannada Language Learning Act, 2015, several Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) schools in Bengaluru have made Kannada second language for students this academic year.

The State government implemented the Kannada Language Learning Act, 2015, which mandates that schools in Karnataka compulsorily teach Kannada as the first or second language, failing which they would be penalised. Schools were asked to introduce the changes from the 2017-2018 academic year, but many managements are only now waking up to the issue.

What is cause for concern among parents and students, however, is the manner in which the rules are being implemented. Instead of introducing Kannada as a second language in a phases, schools are abruptly asking students to make the change, allege parents.

For instance a parent whose son is in class two was told that the second language for this academic year would be Kannada, and Hindi would be the third language from now on. “Last academic year, Hindi was the second language and Kannada the third language. We are worried how the children will cope,” she said.

The school management assured her and other parents of conducting remedial classes for students.

At a press conference on Tuesday, M. Srinivasan, president, Managements of Independent CBSE Schools Association, said that while schools had ‘no problem’ teaching Kannada, the government should not insist that they teach it as either first or second language. “Many parents want their mother tongue to be taught as the second language, and not Kannada,” he said.

B. Gayatri Devi, principal of Little Flower Public School, said that students had to study first and second language for 10 years while they had to study the third language for four years. “Although the council gives us permission to teach an additional second language, we do not want to burden students by teaching them an additional language,” she said.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2020 5:14:26 PM |

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