Even as the new academic year starts, it seems that Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) in Karnataka are yet to include Kannada in their academic curriculum despite a government order.
As most schools in the state are gearing up to introduce Kannada language as part of the curriculum in the academic year 2018-19 in concurrence with the Kannada Language Learning Act, the Kendriya Vidyalaya schools across the state are yet to follow the directive.
Priyanka, a class 10 student of KV confirms that Kannada textbooks are not a part of the list of textbooks shared by the school with the students. She says that there has been no communication so far from the school regarding the matter.
A government circular issued on January 28, 2018, instructed all schools in the state to mandatorily introduce Kannada as the first or second language irrespective of their affiliations, from the academic year 2018-19. According to a report by Sandeep Moudgal in the Times of India, the minister had earlier said, "From 2018-19, we will bring Kannada as an introductory language at class I and then gradually introduce it till class 10 in subsequent years. By 2026-27, Kannada will be the second language in all CBSE and ICSE schools, including the Kendriya Vidyalayas in the state".
TNM got in touch with a few of the KVs in Bengaluru and they confirmed that Kannada was not taught in their schools. Talking to our reporter, the Principal of KV AFS, Jalahalli East, said that they do not have Kannada language as part of the academic curriculum; however, their students have the option of learning the language as part of their hobby classes. Similar responses were received from other KVs as well in the city.
A common argument put forward by both the parents of the wards as well as academicians in these government-run schools, is that such an implementation will be futile since most of the students in these schools are from other states and will reside in the state only for a short period, until their parents get their next transfers. They point out that forcing the students to learn Kannada is not logical and will be of little help to them.
Following the government directive, a lot of private schools opposed the move citing that the implementation will turn out to be burdensome to a lot of students, especially the non-Kannadigas. The Management of Independent CBSE Schools Association had earlier indicated that they were planning to approach the Karnataka High Court regarding the matter. M Srinivasan, president of the association, said that they were in talks with the government for the formulation of a more realistic policy. â€śIt was decided at a meeting of the Education Minister with the Association representatives, education secretary and other senior officials of the education department that Kannada can be one of the three languages, first, second or third. We are waiting for the circularâ€¦If they make it one of the three languages, we are very happy with that but if they go back on the decision then there will be a problem,â€ť he said.
Mansoor Ali Khan, member of the board of management, DPS Bangalore and Mysore has said that the Association in collaboration with the government is trying to come up with a more organic and realistic manner of implementation. â€śThe three languages will be at parity. We will not make the implementation and reading part difficult for students. We are devising strategies to make it a fun and interesting experience for the studentsâ€ť.