Bengaluru, Sep 06, 2018 : In a significant and bold move, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has decided that government-run schools in the state will use English as a medium of instruction.
On an experimental basis, 1000 schools will switch to learning in English medium, said Kumaraswamy.
Sticking to his Budget announcement, he said that opposition to English as a medium of instruction was meaningless and impractical.
"When I announced it in the Budget, there was a protest from certain usual suspects. Some self appointed custodians of Kannada language had come to me with a huge delegation opposing it. But I have decided to ignore them in the larger interest of the rural poor who need the knowledge of English. We can’t deprive them of English language and the opportunities it opens up to them. More than 90% of those protesting have their children studying in English medium. I don’t bother about such things," he said.
"I know English. But sometimes even I am not confident. I fear that I might make grammatical errors. If that is my case, what about rural and urban poor children? They shouldn’t face the issues we are facing. It is my genuine concern," the chief minister justified his decision which may lead to one more round of loud protests.
He also said that government was planning to send government school teachers abroad for training, like it is done in the Delhi model.
He said that it was impossible to rein in private schools and the only way to beat them would be improving quality of government-run schools.
Kumaraswamy has also announced Rs 1000 crore fund for the infrastructure development of such schools.
The political parties are also divided over the issue. The opposition BJP is opposing the move. Even the coalition partner Congress, it seems, is not backing the decision.