Published: 15th July 2021
Education Minister hits back at anti-Kannada protestors, tells parents to teach their kids the language of the land
Under the Kannada Language Learning Act, the state had made it compulsory to include the language in schools, regardless of the board. The order has faced opposition from central board students
Despite pressure from students and parents online against keeping Kannada as a mandatory subject in all schools in Karnataka, regardless of which board, the government is unmoved. Karnataka's Minister for Primary and Secondary education, S Suresh Kumar asked the Education Secretary to pass a notice warning any schools violating the Kannada Language Learning Act, 2015's specifications and ensure that it is stringently followed — even when classes continue online.
Responding to a barrage of tweets and a petition online that is gathering steam, Suresh Kumar said that the campaign by the students violated the law, and also reprimanded parents, telling them that it is their duty to teach the students the "language of the land."
It may be recalled that the Kannada Language Learning Act, 2015 stated that all schools in the state, irrespective of the board, are required to teach Kannada as the first or second language. Implemented in 2017, the Act has been drawing flak from many quarters, especially from students who study in schools that offer central boards such as ICSE, IGSCE, and CBSE.
There have also been reports of opposition from the parents, claiming that the language was difficult to learn for students, and would make it hard for them to score marks. However, the state government is in the middle of a major push for the language to be used more ubiquitously in the state, and are marking this year as the Kannada Kayaka Varsha. Just two days ago, the Kannada Development Authority had plans to start Kannada classes in madarsas and churches. It had also made it mandatory for the language to be used in official communication in the state.