[MLE] Indian row over English teaching (2)

Dear MLE Interest group,
Prof Rajesh Sachdeva of Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL)
informed us below of the CIIL response to this discussion.

Thanks, Rajesh!
From: Rajesh Sachdeva [mailto:rajeshnehu@rediffmail.com]
Sent: 13 October 2006 10:11
To: Karsten van Riezen(Education Consultant)
Subject: [TAGGED] Re: [MLE] Indian row over English teaching
that is why we are organizing  aday long public debate on language
policy-place of english in  indian schools-on 5th/6th of january. we are
having several noted scholars who have worked on english in india from
within the country and outside too to come from 2nd january-6th. while the
first few days of their stay here are to develop a dialogue on non-native
performance in english, the last day is meant for a public debate. vrinda
sarup has promised me to depute some officers from different states to come

On Fri, 13 Oct 2006 Karsten van Riezen(Education Consultant) wrote :
>Dear MLE interest group,
>For those of you who do not have an Indian newspaper you might not be aware
of this interesting controversy in Karnataka, one of the southern states in
>Karsten van Riezen
>Education Consultant, SIL Int.
>SIL, South Asia Group.
>_____________________BBC, Oct 13 06 _________________________________
>Indian row over English teaching
>India's call-centre capital employs 150,000 English speakers Plans to
>teach English to pupils in India's call-centre hub of Bangalore have
infuriated language activists.
>Promoters of the local Kannada language fear they will suffer from
proposals to make English compulsory in government schools in the state of
>The state government says the change is necessary to enable rural students
to compete for jobs in the new economy.
>But local writers have called for a campaign of civil disobedience to
promote Kannada in its place.
>The Kannada language is spoken by about 50m people in the state, and a 1994
law made it illegal for schools to teach children up to age 11 in any other
>But the law was widely flouted until recently, when the government
announced it would close 1,400 schools that were violating the regulation in
the middle of the academic year.
>That decision has now been overturned, and last week Karnataka's government
announced it would also make English a compulsory subject for children from
the age of six.
>The state Chief Minister, HD Kumaraswamy, said while Kannada should be
encouraged at all levels, rural children should not be deprived of better
employment opportunities because they had not learnt English.
>Bangalore is a major base for India's booming call-centre industry and
employs 150,000 English-speaking people.
>The move has divided opinions among the state's literary fraternity, says
the BBC's Habib Beary in Bangalore.
>Scholars led by the Kannada Literary Council said the decision was shocking
and harmed the Kannada language, and called on the government to overturn
its decision.
>A public meeting of Kannada writers heard calls to boycott state-organised
language events and risk jail to oppose English teaching, the Hindu
newspaper reported.
>But other writers came out in support of the government.
>"While English is a tool of mobility for urban, upper middle-class
children, the lack of English knowledge is a handicap for rural Dalit
children," said Dalit writer K Marulasiddappa.
>The chief minister is to hold talks with the protesting academics and
writers to convince them that poor children need to be taught English to get
Rajesh Sachdeva