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Karnataka may remove 3 language formula in high schools

Mangalore Today News Network

Mangaluru, Sep 16, 2017: The Karnataka Knowledge Commission recommended two languages in high school and one at the PU level.In  a major policy reform, the Education department is looking to do away with the three-language formula at the high school level and have students study only two languages.

languagesAt present, students in Classes 8-10 in government, private-aided and unaided schools that follow the Karnataka state syllabus study three languages. Students can choose from Kannada, English, Alternate English, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Hindi as first, second and third languages (Sanskrit is a first language option from Class 8). The three-language formula was formulated way back in 1968 and is in vogue in several states.

The department plans to remove the third language option in high school. This stems from concerns that students are spending way too much time learning languages in higher classes. “Third language is important, but the question is for how many years should one study a third language,” Additional Chief Secretary (primary and secondary education) Ajay Seth said.

Focus on skills :  High school students in Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE) schools study two languages, Seth pointed out. “Because of that, CBSE students are able to devote more time to other skills,” he said. The department is also considering having only language subject at the pre-university level in place of two as it exists now.

Having two languages in high school and one at the PU level was a recommendation made by the Karnataka Knowledge Commission. The proposed rejig in the language formula will be incorporated in a separate education policy of the government which was under preparation, Seth said. “The policy will be placed before the Cabinet by December,” he said.

The two-language formula is more pragmatic, according to Rishikesh B Shanker of the Azim Premji University School of Policy and Governance. “It’s based on the philosophy that once your foundation language is strong, you can learn the basics of a couple of languages at the elementary level and narrow it down closer to higher education so that the chosen language is strengthened,” he said.