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Kannada made compulsory in school, anxious Karnataka parents want rules relaxed

While Karnataka passed a law in 2015 requiring schools to teach Kannada as either 1st or 2nd language, govt issued order on 3 January directing schools to follow the law or face action.

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Bengaluru: Parents in Karnataka are worried as the BJP government in the state has issued a diktat to schools to teach Kannada as either the first or second language. 

The then Congress government in 2015 had passed the Kannada Language Learning Act, 2015, making it compulsory for schools in the state, irrespective of the board they are affiliated to, to teach Kannada either as the medium of instruction or the second language.  

The law applies for classes 1 to 10 and was to be implemented in a phased manner. It was to come into effect from the 2017-18 academic session.  

On 3 January, state’s Minister for Primary and Secondary Education S. Suresh Kumar met representatives of 150 schools and made it clear that the rule will have to be followed even if the schools are affiliated to IGCSE, ICSE and CBSE boards.  

“There is a feeling among some that learning Kannada or teaching it makes one inferior. During my visit to some schools, I noticed that there were no Kannada teachers, while in some schools the teachers were not qualified to teach the language,” Kumar told reporters after the meeting. “Some do not have it in their timetables. It is not acceptable.” 

Following the meeting, private schools in the state have decided to implement the rule. That has left apprehensive parents now seeking the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to relax the rule. 

Anxious parents look to PM, CM 

While some parents have petitioned the prime minister, others are looking to approach the courts.    

One parent who has written to the PMO told ThePrint that he feared it would hamper his child’s marks.  

“Despite being a Kannadiga and proud of our rich language, I also know that Kannada is tough to learn,” said the parent on the condition of anonymity.

“My child’s marks could get affected and he would be at a disadvantage compared to a child, say from Maharashtra or Uttar Pradesh, where their language may help them score better.”  

Other parents are those who have migrated to the state or are here due to transferable jobs.  

“We have immense regard for Kannada and its importance. We understand it should be added in the curriculum,” said Prerna P.K, a parent whose child goes to a CBSE school in Bengaluru. “But parents who may either leave Karnataka after a few years due to their jobs or come to Karnataka midway during their child’s education will find it extremely difficult.  

“Our request is to relax the rule in such a way that those who cannot opt for Kannada should at least have another choice like Hindi or Sanskrit,” she added.  

Some, however, feel that it will prove advantageous in the long run. 

“We are from the North but we believe that a child at a young age can pick up many languages. Why not Kannada?” said Chandrika, whose child studies in an ICSE school in Bengaluru’s central business district. “It will help them if they continue to live in Karnataka as a lot of documents are in Kannada.” 

Dr K.G. Jagadeesha, the Commissioner of Public Instruction told ThePrint that the government expects schools to adhere to the rule.

“It is an Act. It has to be implemented. There is no shame in learning a new language,” he said. “Moreover, it will empower the child if he knows more than one language. We have made it clear to all schools to adhere to this law and we expect them to follow our instructions.” 

He added that the whole point of making children learn Kannada is to ensure that they learn a new language and are able to communicate in the local language.  

“Why do people learn French? So that they can find better opportunities,” Jagadeesha said. “In the same way, why can’t parents teach their child an additional language. Children have the ability to learn four to five languages and it will add to their personality too.” 

Also read: Karnataka wants to rename 5 airports after local historical heroes, asks for suggestions

Schools to implement the rule 

Karnataka schools have agreed to implement the Act, although grudgingly. They want a certain level of leniency to help accommodate students from all backgrounds. 

“When in Karnataka one should learn Kannada. But my personal opinion as an educationist is that learning should be a joyful experience. So why not teach three languages — English, Kannada and Hindi,” said Father Sunil Fernandes, principal of the St Joseph’s Boys High School, an ICSE school in Bengaluru. 

“Kannada can be taught as a second language from Class 1 to Class 8. Students of Class 9 should be given an option to choose the second language they are good at, be it Kannada or Hindi or any other third language. We suggest that it should not be mandatory for the board exams,” he added. 

Mansoor Ali Khan, board member of Delhi Public School (DPS) that follows the CBSE syllabus, said the three-language policy would be a better option.  

“We suggested that all three languages, English, Kannada and others (such as Hindi, French, German) be given equal weightage. All of them should be given 100 marks,” Khan told ThePrint. “That way, all languages will have the same importance and no language will get preferential treatment. However, this solution seems to have not been considered.” 

Shashi Kumar, general secretary of the Karnataka Associated Management of Unaided Schools (KAMS), also batted for the three-language formula.   

“We all will implement Kannada as the second language in good spirit but we have suggested that the state government communicate to the HRD ministry to make a provision for a third language,” Kumar said. “That way children from other states and countries will have an option of another language at least. They are yet to act on this.”

Also read: Kannada becomes both hipster and political


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  1. In all this politicking,I hope we don’t forget the children, who have to keep up with the studies. Whether our children will benefit in the Global scenario, is the question that needs to be thought.

  2. Disgust parents, it’s a pity to have such people, who are bothered for marks of a kid than teaching them their mother tongue. Do not spread this type of news for god sake. I totally support out CM’s decision and what hold does PM has on our language? It’s a state language and culture so the ultimate decider is our CM. Whoever supports our Kannada dialect should give their views in support of this decision. Let’s not hold back

    Kannada Gelge, Kannada Balge, Kannada Naadge

    Jai Kannada, Jai Karnataka Mathe

  3. It may be South Indian or North Indian one can easily learn Kannada I myself taught Kannada to my colleague from North so don’t tell this bullshit that Kannada is tough to learn some people from North have ego that I know Hindi why to learn Kannada Hindi is spoken by 50 percent of population it doesn’t mean another 50 percent has to learn and use it has link Language , constitution has defined that English and Hindi are official language at the same time all 22 Language are official language some people say English is British Lang why we need to speak so the Same people I want to question even our Constitution borrowed some features from Britan constitution so u don’t want to follow constitution u have to follow no other go in my opinion a child has to learn official language of its state where it is and it may choose one link Language either it may be English , Hindi or spanish or any other.

  4. A very good decision taken by education department . Mr Suresh KUMAR education minister took a strong decision to spread the fragrance of Kannada language to each and every child. It will be useful to protect our culture tradition custom to others through language and literature . Even i learnt Telugu in tamilnadu I like the rich language of Kannada

  5. The Print is a toilet paper, with useless reporter like Rohini Swamy spreading fake news.
    Kannada is a classical language, very easy to learn

  6. Very good step from ministry of school. I would request the ministry to make compulsory for Karnataka state Government employee’s children to study in Government schools. So that our government schools quality of education will improve.

  7. ಕನ್ನಡ ಬೇಡಎನ್ನುವರು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಅವಕಾಶ ಕೊಡ ಬಾರದು ಎಕೆಂದರೆ ಬೇರೆ ದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಕೆಲಸಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಹೋಗುವ ಮೊದಲು ಆ ದೇಶದ ಭಾಷೆಯನ್ನು ಕಳಿತು ಹೋಗುವ ಜನ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಕನ್ನಡ ಕಳಿಯೇ ಬೇಕು ಆದುದರಿಂದ ಕನ್ನಡ ಬೇಡ ಎನ್ನುವರು ನಮ್ಮ ರಾಜ್ಯದಿಂದ ಹೊರ ಹೋಗಬಹುದೂ

  8. Fake artcle….who said kannada is tough??it is oldest language than hindi they must learn it and respect it….if they are staying in karnatka other wise getout…and why govt implement hindi as 3rd language is hindi a national langauage lol..!!!
    kannada people respect every language and we also expect same from everyone otherwise newtons 3rd law is applicable…..;

    • Dont say get out, half of Bangalore economy runs from so called outsiders what you say being an Indian.

      Learning language is never be wrong, schools need to find out the way how are they going to teach kannada for class 6 or 7 students. Are they going to learn from beginning or they will start from 6th standard. Schools have to clarify.

  9. ಜೀವನ ಮಾಡಲು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಬೇಕು, ಕನ್ನಡ ಮಾತ್ರ ಬೇಡ, ದಯವಿಟ್ಟು ಕನ್ನಡ ಬೇಡ ಅನ್ನೋ ರೆಲ್ಲಾ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಬಿಟ್ಟು ತೋಲಗಿ

  10. WTF!
    Why are you spreading wrong things?
    Yes you only @rohini…

    Stop this. Itd rule means rule only…

    Don’t put 5% peoples ‘s opinion here.

    I will report this @theprint to authorities for spreading wrong and misleading…! Face it…

    ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಕನ್ನಡ, ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರೇ ಸಾರ್ವಭೌಮ.

  11. This is an absolute must, I know people who have stayed 30 years, used their subsidized education, food, water, electricity and do not want to utter a word in Kannada. Bengaluru is diving into 2 worlds, Kannada is become a language of the poor and labor class while english and others being of the white collared. The people who move in Karnataka will never have any attachment to the city/state/culture hence will never care to vote or work for a better Karnataka. Schools/Parents who are asking for 3 Language policy need to go to UP and implement it there first, if they want anything removed it should be Hindi, or do you aspire your life in UP/Bihar? Kannadigas do not need any language but Kannada & english.

  12. Iam Proud of Karnataka Government imlementing in education ,KANNADA LANGUAGE COMPULSORY. I welcome .

  13. Learning KANNADA should be a must in Karnataka. Parents of the state/ migrates should encourage their children to learn and respect the state language rather going for a plea to central/state govt relaxing the rule.

    Parents could rather plea to relax the school FEES and set a standard, logical fee all across schools.

    Education should not be a business. After paying lakhs together at schools, most of the students are paying for tutorials !!

    Is this how our education system is supposed to be?

  14. Good decision taken government. I don’t believe in anonymous complaint. If your child has problems, go to a state where he/she has no problem. If you want live/stay in any state u must be follow basic culture and basic requirement of state.

  15. Many Indian languages are in danger of extinction, Modi-Shah are trying to force Hindi down the throats of non-Hindi speakers.
    Non-hindi languages need to be saved from these facists. I fully support this government decision.

  16. Faulty headlines -Fake news
    Are these Kannada against parents thinking us as weak one.?first of all I urge them to go and see what other states like Kerala,TN,Andra and Maharastra has imposed
    their language in education system there.Can any one daring to question them ? If u feel in secure here ,please get lost that’s all.

  17. Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam belongs to same language family. People in TN, AP and Kerala don’t complain about native language then how migrants in Karnataka complain about native language?

  18. Very good decision by whoever has done it to save a D improve kannada these days people of other language take pride in their language in front of Kannadigas in Karnataka and Sony even make a effort to speak kannada or learn yes a very good rule do not relax it

  19. Learning KANNADA should be a must in Karnataka. Parents of the state/ migrates should encourage their children to learn and respect the state language rather going for a plea to central/state govt relaxing the rule.

    Parents could rather plea to relax the school FEES and set a standard, logical fee all across schools.

    Education should not be a business. After paying lakhs together at schools, most of the students are paying for tutorials !!

    Is this how our education system is supposed to be?

  20. If you don’t want to learn Kannada you people better leave this place, wheather you put letter to PM/CM office or petition we don’t care you better leave Karnataka. When we come to your state you implore us to learn your language why not here ?

  21. Who initiated this rule I don’t know but, sir a big salute to you sir if people can learn Hindi they can learn Kannada also not a big issue or else they can remove Hindi totally because it is not our national language anymore simple,if they say their parents get transferred to other states ,not all the people in Bangalore will get transferred only few right so no excuses for anyone everybody should learn Kannada.

  22. When people entered the tamil nadu invariably learn tamil and govt.also will not spare any non tamilnadu people even from north india they will learn but while in karnataka outside people speaks only mother tongue of their own why this discremanatry situation

  23. ಕರ್ನಾಟಕದ ಸರ್ಕಾರಕ್ಕೆ ಧೈರ್ಯ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಅದು, ಕುಮಾರಸ್ವಾಮಿ ಇರಬಹುದು, ಸಿದ್ದರಾಮಯ್ಯ ಇರಬಹುದು ಅಥವಾ ಯಡಿಯೂರಪ್ಪ ಇರಬಹುದು. ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಕೆಲವು ಏರಿಯಾಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಸುಮಾರು ವರ್ಷಗಳು ವಾಸಿಸಿದ ನಂತರವೂ ಜನಗಳಿಗೆ ಕನ್ನಡ ಮಾತಾಡುವ ಸೌಜನ್ಯವೂ ಇಲ್ಲ.
    ಸರ್ಕಾರ ದಿಟ್ಟ ನಿರ್ಧಾರ ತೆಗೆದುಕೊಂಡರೆ ಕನ್ನಡ ಭಾಷೆ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಮಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ಉಳಿಯುತ್ತದೆ

  24. This is Karnataka and everyone has to respect and learn language.. No need of relaxing rule for other state peoples who are spoiling our language

  25. The decision made by the govt is good, people should know kannada when they leave in Karnataka( kannada state). When people wish learn French,German and other languages,why not kannada?

  26. Children must learn kannada if they stay in Karnataka. I appreciate the government for making the rules compulsory.

  27. People from all over prefer Bengaluru when it comes to Chennai or other southern capital s for a living, but why not show some interest in learning the language instead of just sticking to ” Kannada gothilla”.

  28. Those who cannot learn Kannada may leave Karnataka schools and make their children to study in their home town as there are many schools have boarding facility while parents can stay in Karnataka as they work here on a transferable jobs.
    If ur children learns French or German u put a status of his certificate, and many schools teach french, but not kannada.


    ಕನ್ನಡ ಕಲಿಯಲು ಆಗದವರು ದಯವಿಟ್ಟು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಬಿಟ್ಟು ನಿಮ್ಮ ಮಕ್ಕಳನ್ನು ನಿಮ್ಮ ಊರಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಇರುವ ವಸತಿ ಶಾಲೆ ಗೆ ಸೇರಿಸಿ, ನೀವುಗಳು ಅಂದ್ರೆ ತಂದೆ ತಾಯಂದಿರು ಇಲ್ಲೇ ಇದ್ರು ಪರ್ವಾಗಿಲ್ಲ, ಪಾಪ ನಿಮಗೆ ಕೆಲ್ಸ ಇರುತ್ತೆ.
    ನಿಮ್ ಮಕ್ಕಳು ಫ್ರೆಂಚ್, ಜರ್ಮನ್ ಬಾಷೆ ಕಲಿತರೆ ನಿಮಗೆ ಕುಷಿ ಆದರೆ ನೀವ್ ಅನ್ನ ತಿಂತಿರೋ ಊರಲ್ಲಿ ಕನ್ನಡ ಕಲಿಯೋಕ್ಕೆ ಕಷ್ಟ. ನೀವೆಲ್ಲ ತಮಿಳುನಾಡಿಗೆ ಹೋಗಿ 6ತಿಂಗಳು ಕೆಲ್ಸ ಮಾಡಿ ಗೊತ್ತಾಗತ್ತೆ.

    ಕನ್ನಡ ಕಲಿಯೋಲ್ಲ ಅಂದ್ರೆ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಬಿಟ್ಟು ತೊಲಗಿ.

    • Sir I do respect your opinion but try to understand that this world judges a student just by their marks. The prime reason for not taking kannada as second language is because we score less in that subject compared to hindi. If you compare 2 student, one who got 98% who got 96 in hindi and the other who got 93% who got 92 in kannada, you would obviously admire the student who got 98% without knowing his/her second language marks.
      So just because he doesn’t learn kannada as second language, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t know kannada !
      Moreover we are also not rich enough like you people who can easily boarding facilities !

      Hope you can understand English and my opinion that I wanted to convey to you

      • I don’t know from which state you are .But ,if plan to stay & settle in Karnataka, don’t you feel it is moral duty to respect & learn local language,ie Kannada?.Has the govt stopping you from studying in English medium?As regards,marks pl note languages are not considered core subjects like maths,physics etc.Just in the name of marks scoring, you people are avoiding leaning Kannada,as a language! Achha,how many people in northern states, particularly, Hindi speaking states are learning any of southern language?

      • As parents u should know language is not a core subject it doesn’t affect anyway to child..for marks they implement to learn it and respect it….childrens have capacity to grasp they will learn…and respect its culture…

    • ಹೌದು, ಕನ್ನಡ ಕಲಿಯಲು ಆಗದವರು ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಬಿಟ್ಟು ತೊಲಗಿ

  29. Half of the people doesn’t know kannada in Bangalore and if this continues it would be very difficult for the people who just knows kannada and it’s fair respecting and learning the language would definitely be helpful in the long run, if they are planning to settle here.. when we learnt Hindi without even studying in Mumbai or Delhi why can’t kids learn kannada being in Karnataka..

  30. R we not making children to go to school compulsorly?
    Wat is ur headline?parents anxious?just learning a language n tat to just 1 subject.Why don’t u write tat òk we r fine with the language compulsion but keep it easy to learn so tat wen these children grow they can read and understand the language.

  31. Come on, please don’t say “karnataka parents” as it’s very much misleading, kannadiga parents will never ever request to relax the rule of learning kannada language in school being in karnataka. So please be specific from which source the request is arrived.

    • Agree & appreciate.The very title itself is misleading,to say least!why Print has given such a shocking title? Dear Editor,I Condemn the title itself! You English journalists,pl come down from your Ivory towers & be grounded!

  32. It was long awaited. Kannada must be made mandatory as 1st or 2nd language . Schools not complying with it must be closed down. Why parents are worried? I can not understand the logic here.

  33. I am very sorry to say ur article is more of negative content..May be all of the review which came to u were from non karnataka folks…they could have never said this.I can get u reviews from may which is exactly opposite of this. we are happy for implementing kannada. no mater how difficult language we will teach and make them learn.WHEN U WANT TO LEARM A FOREIGN LANGUAGE DONOT U PUT EFFORT EVEN IF ITS DIFFICULT …THEN WHATS THE PROBLEM.

  34. In Maharashtra Marathi is compulsory from 1 std, no matter from which part of the country you are coming but here parents doesn’t complain like Karnataka people. I don’t know why some people feel shame to speak Kannada!!!!!

  35. Transfer all of those who filed petition to Tamil Nadu or at least for 1-3 years. They will understand how easy it is to lead life in Karnataka.
    TN will enforce Tamil and all these people will will never open thier mouth and learn Tamil along with their children.
    These people are barking because they know the governments here is not strong like TN.

  36. This is a periodic fits in Karnataka. Whenever a new government assumes office, this type of announcements come. It has come several times in the past also.

  37. We are kannadigas we love to write speak and learn kannada, its very easy to learn this language with a little hard work.

  38. When Hindi is made compulsory why not Kannada? After all Hindi is just another language. Please stop preferential treatment to
    Hindi. If someone says learning Kannada is not useful to them then learning Hindi is also not useful to others. Learn respecting law of the land. It is good enough to teach languages for communication skills. Those who are interested in studying literature may opt for it later.

  39. Kannada people never say learning kannada is tough. There is something fishy in this report. Whatever concerns mentioned here are not at all valid reasons for relaxation of rules.

  40. Boss u r in karnataka whether you come from whichpart does not matter. Atleast learn the language and marks should not hamper anyone growth. Local language to be given preferment

  41. In every indian states respective state languages are mandatory then y shame kannada? Want everything of karnataka but do not like kannada n kannadigas? We dont need migrants at all.. we dont need hindi or any other language in karnataka. Im a proud kannadiga having lived in different parts of india i had no choice but to read write n speak those state languages….u dont want kannada n v kannadigas dont want u.. simple

  42. 😀😀😀well poor anonymous kannada parent ,if learning kannada hambers your childs marks then what about govt schools including rural schools where hindi is taught as 3rd language upto 10th? (you don’t have choice),pls someone file petition for poor kannada childrens as well and annonymous parent can never be a kannadiga, its either the article writer lying or the annonymous guy lying about his ethnicity.

    • What a sorry state of affairs. Other countries are moving to 5G & IOT & AI and we in India are still debating issues from the 1940s and 50s. Let me ask you a question. You Kannadigas were happy voting for this government when they were talking of disenfranchising Muslims. What will happen to you when Yogi becomes the PM and makes Hindi compulsory and all your languages are treated as second class? Those who vote for snakes thinking that only one community is affected – get bitten themselves one day.

      • Don’t dream great things…Kannada has survived for thousands of years…Pulikeshi II of Chalukyas dynasty returned Harshavardhana of Delhi his kingdom back in the 6th century AD when both fought on banks of Narmada otherwise history would have been different…Kannadigas have been generous from time immemorial but that should not be treated as a weakness…we can face 100s of Yogi adityanath’s to defend our freedom

        • Subhash Sir super reply sir really impressed and one thing here I want to say what Vinayaka told is absolutely right Same things I faced when in school I got 110 in Kannada and 95 in English but I got 61 in Hindi so Hindi as a third Lang was very difficult to me and same to even my friends in school but our parents never taught to put petition to court

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