The Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy has urged Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa to introduce Konkani as a medium of education in the state. The academy made the request following the proposed national educational policy (NEP) that lays stress on education in the mother tongue.
In a letter to the Chief Minister, the academy noted that there were over 25 lakh Konkani speaking people in the state. The language is presently used by people belonging to three religions and 42 communities. The NEP states that the medium of instruction until at least Class 5 should be the mother tongue or regional language.
A delegation from the academy met the Chief Minister earlier this week to submit the request to add Konkani as a medium of instruction. The academy requested that the language be used as a medium of education up to Class 5 and offered as a subject for classes above.
The academy also requested the government to include Konkani as a subject for courses like B Ed and M Ed and appoint more Konkani educators.
Konkani has already been added as a third language for interested students till Class 10 on an optional basis in both Kannada and Devanagari scripts.
Konkani, spoken along the western coast of India, is prevalent in the coastal belt in Karnataka. According to the 2011 census, the language is spoken by 16.1% of residents in Mangaluru, a coastal city in the state. State support for languages like Konkani is limited to the funding of various Sahitya Akademis. These academies have been set up for languages like Tulu, Byari and Konkani. Another popular regional language in Karnataka is Kodava, spoken by the residents of the hilly Kodagu district.
Konkani is the official language of Goa state and is also spoken in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, Gujarat and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.