Karnataka

1,000 Karnataka Public Schools to have English-medium sections

The move to introduce English as medium of instruction has been a contentious one, with many academicians and Kannada writers opposing the State government’s stance

The move to introduce English as medium of instruction has been a contentious one, with many academicians and Kannada writers opposing the State government’s stance   | Photo Credit: File Photo by AFP

The State is one step closer to realising its ambition to introduce English as a medium of instruction in government schools. The 1,000 Karnataka Public Schools announced in the 2019-20 budget in hobli headquarters will have English-medium sections in class 1, in addition to Kannada-medium classes.

Karnataka Public School is a concept introduced by the State government to reduce the number of dropouts from primary school to high school. Students will join the school at LKG, which will be the entry point, and will study till class 12 in a single campus.

At present, there are different types of schools — lower primary (classes 1 to 5), higher primary (classes 1 to 8), and high (classes 8 to 10). Apart from this, there are pre-university colleges (classes 11 and 12).

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, in his budget speech, said there would be separate organisational rules and guidelines for these schools, and they would be prescribed based on the Kendriya Vidyalaya model.

A Department of Primary and Secondary Education official said that when this proposal is implemented, there will be a huge spike in government school enrolments. “This also has to be seen from the context of the State government deciding to amend the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Rules, 2012. The rules have been tweaked to make sure that students from lower socio-economic backgrounds can avail reservation in private schools only if there are no government schools. So this essentially means there will be no free seats in private schools. As the government is starting English-medium classes, good response is expected,” the official said.

The move to introduce English as medium of instruction has been a contentious one, with several academicians and Kannada writers opposing the government’s stance. V.P. Niranjan Aradhya, Fellow at the Centre for Child and Law, National Law School of India University, Bengaluru, said that various studies, including one conducted by UNESCO, have found that primary education is beneficial in the child’s mother tongue. “European countries, which are developed nations, all have medium of instruction in the child’s mother tongue. It is only South Asian countries that are projecting English as the aspirational language and want to push it as the medium of instruction without any evidence [it helps],” he said.

Meanwhile, Basavaraj Gurikar, president, Karnataka State Primary School Teachers’ Association, welcomed the move to start Karnataka Public Schools. He said the association wants the government to ensure that all 43,712 government elementary schools are given permission to start pre-primary classes.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 9:37:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/1000-karnataka-public-schools-to-have-english-medium-sections/article26240990.ece

Next Story