[MLE] FW: India: two messages

Dear Interest group,
I suppose most of you have been following the discussions in Karnataka on
the issue of medium of instruction. Just in case you missed it, below are
two brief articles on the issue.

Karsten van Riezen
Education Consultant, SIL Int.
SIL, South Asia Group.

-----Original Message-----
From: Harold F. Schiffman [mailto:haroldfs@ccat.sas.upenn.edu]
Sent: 23 September 2006 22:00
To: Language Policy-List
Subject: India: two messages
1. Call for uniform language policy
BANGALORE: The Federation of Unaided Schools in Karnataka on Friday urged
the state government to have a uniform language policy for all schools in
the state. Association president K S Kumari told reporters here that it is
unfair to deprive lakhs of children from studying the universal language
English. "Why is it that poor children have to study in Kannada medium while
the rich and the affluent get to study in English medium schools?"Kumari
asked. Decrying the government's decision to shut down the schools in the
middle of the academic year, Kumari urged primary and secondary education
minister Basavaraj Horatti to come out with a practical solution to the
Sahitya parishat: In a separate statement, president of the Kannada Sahitya
Parishat Chandrasekhara Patil has urged chief minister H D Kumaraswamy not
to buckle under pressure and go back on the decision to close down the
institutions, which are violating the language policy. "The CM must find a
solution to the lakhs of students studying in these schools but not withdraw
its decision to close down these schools,"Patil said.
2. Stop creating problems in the name of language: Biocon chief
Date:22/09/2006 URL:
Karnataka - Bangalore
Staff Reporter
Yediyurappa says it is important to teach English to children

Bangalore: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chief Managing Director of Biocon, has
appealed to the State Government to resolve the controversy over the
violation of language policy by primary schools in the State. She was
speaking at a function organised to release a mathematics book, "Chinnara
Ganitha", in Kannada at a school in Anekal taluk on Thursday. Ms. Shaw said
that unnecessary problems should not be created in the name of a language.
"Any form of education is necessary... The controversy has created a lot of
problems for children and parents," she said.
Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, who released the book, said English
education was necessary to enable students to compete effectively.
Some people had a wrong notion that encouraging English would mean
discouraging Kannada, he said. Mr. Yediyurappa told presspersons that the
Government would conduct discussions and resolve the controversy. "People
who are concerned about the development of the State know that it is
important to teach our students English. But this should not hurt the
interest of Kannada either," he said.
Self-help book
"Chinnara Ganitha" is self-help mathematics book in Kannada for students of
first and second standard. The book is a collaborative effort of Biocon
Foundation and MacMillan India and aims at making mathematics fun for
children by replacing rote learning with a clear understanding of basic math
concepts. Ms. Shaw said that the book was part of efforts by Biocon
Foundation to include students from rural areas into the knowledge economy,
of which mathematics was an important part. The author of the book was
Prathima Rao, who teaches physics, computer science and mathematics at
Baldwin Girls High School. The book will be made available to students in
Anekal taluk in the first phase.
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