As a follow up to Edwards post titled “English language schools in Karnataka” yesterday, heres an update from the Indian Express. 15 of 30 current cabinet ministers in Karnataka send their children to, well, English medium schools.
The point of contention behind closing the schools is apprently a rule dated 1994 that mandates that “children attending government schools must be taught only in Kannada till their primary education, thats class I through IV”. These schools were supposed to impart education in Kannada, but ended up as English medium schools. This move, was ostensibly to promote Kannada. Whether it will promote Kannada or promote private schools offering English medium education or further push government schools into obscurity is anybodys guess.
The schools may have violated a policy, but in spirit, they were providing education and making English language education easily accessible to many kids. The duplicity of politicians who make retrogressive rules like these is well known, as seen in the above piece. Policies like these only serve to make it difficult for relatively poor locals (since those who can afford the fees will send their kids to English language schools) to get jobs in an English intensive industry (IT/ITES/BPO). The Karnataka government will realise that promotion of a language does not happen through coercion in education or by banning (tried for a few weeks in 2004) movies made in other languages.