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State to fight High Court verdict on language policy

Next step: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa addressing the meeting to discuss the steps to be taken in the wake of the High Court ruling on the medium of instruction in schools, in Bangalore on Tuesday.

Next step: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa addressing the meeting to discuss the steps to be taken in the wake of the High Court ruling on the medium of instruction in schools, in Bangalore on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

Special Correspondent

Appeal to be filed in Supreme Court in two days

BANGALORE: The State Government has decided to file an appeal before the Supreme Court challenging the recent order of the Karnataka High Court on the language policy on the medium of instruction in schools.

The decision was taken at a meeting of Kannada writers, educationists, legal experts, members of various pro-Kannada organisations and prominent political leaders convened by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa here on Tuesday. After a two-hour discussion, the Chief Minister announced that the Government would file an appeal in two days. “There is no question of compromising on the language policy of the State.”

1994 policy

The language policy, formulated in 1994, makes it mandatory to impart primary education (standards one to four) in either the mother tongue of the child or Kannada. However, the High Court ruled on July 2 that unaided schools cannot be compelled to follow this policy.

Those who attended the meeting took serious exception to the ruling. Several writers such as G.S. Shivarudrappa, U.R. Ananthamurthy, M. Chidananda Murthy and D. Javare Gowda observed that it was not the question of language, but of education. The High Court ruling would create disparities between government and unaided schools. While government and aided schools would have to follow the language policy, unaided schools could teach in English. This would go against the intention of the Government to have a uniform primary education system, they said.

Kannada Sahitya Parishat president Chandrashekar Patil said the High Court ruling would result in increased commercialisation of primary education.

‘Contradictory’

The experts argued that the High Court ruling contradicted a Supreme Court judgment in favour of teaching in the mother tongue or the regional language.

In addition to challenging the High Court ruling, the Government should also instil confidence among parents and students that employment opportunities would not elude those who studied in the Kannada medium.

School infrastructure

A major suggestion at the meeting was to improve infrastructure in government and aided schools to match that of unaided schools.

The Chief Minister agreed to take steps to improve infrastructure in government schools. Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly M. Mallikarjun Kharge, the former Education Minister Basavaraj Horatti and Janata Dal (United) MLC M.P. Nadagouda also presented their views.

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