Bengaluru: The Karnataka Textbook Society that comes under Department of Public Instructions, Government of Karnataka, has written to Deputy Directors of Public Instructions (DDPIs) on the inclusion of Kodava language from First Standard to 10th Standard as a third language in the State Syllabus and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
The Society is responsible for printing and distribution of textbooks based on the State syllabi for lakhs of children of Classes 1 to 10 in Government, Aided and Unaided Schools of Karnataka.
The letter (copy of which is available with Star of Mysore) was initially sent from the office of Principal Secretary (Primary and Secondary Education) on 13.06.2016 and 10.04.2018 asking the DDPIs and Deputy Director (Administration), Department of Public Instructions, to furnish details about the number of students who will be available to study Kodava language if it is introduced as the third language.
Though the letter was sent in 2016 and another reminder sent in April this year, no action has been taken either by Deputy Director (Administration), Department of Public Instructions, or by DDPIs across the State. Taking objection to this, the Patya Pustaka Sangha has again (04.05.2018) written to the DDPIs and DD Administration to furnish the details. The latest letter has been sent by Narasimaiah, Managing Director.
‘Move beneficial for language’
Though language scholars say that the move to include Kodava language as a third language will ultimately benefit the language and culture of Kodagu, having Kodava language as a medium of instruction is financially unviable.
According to research scholars, who have conducted extensive research in Kodagu, its language and culture, a majority of Kodavas consider Kodava as a language of culture rather than education. They feel that Kodava language is not adequate enough to be a medium of education even at the primary level.
Many Kodavas prefer English as the medium of education and those who can afford it send their children to English medium schools. Even people with a positive attitude towards Kodava language also do not advocate for Kodava medium as they feel that it will not be economically viable. Financial resources, textbooks, availability of the teachers, etc., are the major problems, they say.
However, linguists are of the opinion that learning through a language other than the mother tongue creates interpretative thinking while education through the mother tongue develops creative thinking. Mother tongue also helps preservation of minority language and culture. As such, education through Kodava medium at least in primary education will benefit the language and culture, say linguists.