Delivering quality education
Editorial

Delivering quality education

Learning languages and choice of language as medium of instruction at primary and secondary school stages seem to have got into the crucible of confusion and cauldron of controversy in the camp of litterateurs even as the political class is not unanimous in deciding the issue and the parents, the primary stakeholders and their children, the secondary stakeholders (or vice-versa), are mute witnesses to the goings on. The central point of the matter that figured during the just concluded All India Kannada Conference at Dharwad emerged was the earlier settled matter of favouring mother-tongue as the ideal medium of instruction to begin the education journey of the school-bound children.

The justification for prescribing English teaching in schools of Karnataka ostensibly to ensure a fail-safe future in life failed to gel with pro-Kannada camp. The argument by the Kannada protagonists that allowing English as one of the languages to be studied compulsorily would spell the death knell of Kannada is well-taken.

A few important points loom large in the wake of the ongoing English-or-no-English dilemma. If mother-tongue (whatever it may mean) is chosen as the medium of instruction in primary and secondary school stage, which of the myriad mother-tongues should the school choose? Secondly, only 1,000 schools under the government management are proposed to comply with the prescription of teaching English, which amounts to discrimination. Third and most important point is the fact that the powers that be have forgotten the professionally proved feature that children have exceptional ability to learn languages, unlike the adults who are bugged by dimwit and prejudice to languages other than what they are conversant with.
The consequences of implementing the policy of Right To Education and also regulatory law relating to school fee and capitation are other issues that continue to be in the cloud. Those who invest capital for starting primary schools are truly brave-hearts battling with officialdom with its poor public image in the matter of transparency and honesty.

January 11, 2019

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