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Parents campaign against Kannada mandate sparks debate

Karnataka: Parents campaign against Kannada mandate sparks debate

July 15, 2021
-Reshma Ravishanker

There is no room for compromise when it comes to offering Kannada as the first or second language subject in any school in Karnataka, minister for primary and secondary education, S Suresh Kumar said on Wednesday after a social media signature campaign asked schools to do away with the language. 

Learning Kannada as either the first or second language in schools was mandatory for all schools in Karnataka – from the academic year of 2016-17 irrespective of the boards to which schools are affiliated. This applies to all students between classes 1-10 and came into effect with the implementation of the Kannada language Learning Act of 2015. 

S Suresh Kumar released a press statement, warning schools of action if the sections of the Kannada Language Learning Act, 2015 are violated and schools do not offer Kannada either as the first or second language.

The statement came in response to a discussion by parents of a private school on social media, that turned into a bone of contention. Parents of students studying in a private school hailing from other states in Bengaluru started a signature campaign asking the school not to mandate their children to study Kannada as a subject.

The incident was later brought to the notice of the Kannada Development Authority who had a discussion with the education minister, asking him to intervene.

“A certain section of parents from other states residing in Karnataka have started a campaign on social media asking schools not to mandate learning Kannada as one of the subjects in schools. It is mandatory for schools to offer Kannada either as the first or second language (in effect from 2016-17) failing which action will be initiated against them. There is no room for any leeway here,” Kumar ascertained.

He also said that irrespective of the boards of affiliation, students must be taught Kannada either as the first or second language for all students between classes 1 and 10.

T S Nagabharana, chairman, Kannada Development Authority said that such a trend where parents are starting social media campaigns over not studying Kannada is unacceptable. “If you want to live in the state, make a livelihood here and find jobs, why is there an excuse to study the local language. If you are violating the law of the land, does it give you the eligibility to stay in the land? If you have such disregard for the language, then parents are free to choose another state instead of Karnataka,” he said.  

Also read: Parents campaign against Kannada mandate sparks debate

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