The de-recognition and thereby shutting of over 1000 schools in karnataka as they did not comply to a law passed many years back brings to fore once again the reality that education and the welfare and rights of children ranks very low on the political agenda of our country.
After the festivities a myriad of kids will find out that they do not have a school left. The debate of mother tongue versus English is an adult's debate, children follow what they are told to. True that an English divide exists in our country but then can one forget that after 60 years of linguistic debate the problem of a national language has not been solved.
Today many parents living in slums plunge in their meagre pockets to get their children, sadly often the boys, in to what boasts to be an English medium school, even if it is a commercial teaching shop where no one speaks English.
When Ataturk decided overnight to change the Turkish language script as he felt that the children of his country did not need to be burdened by two scripts, he was traveling in the future.
Of the many commentators who spoke on the issue, one rightly felt that all children should go to the same kind of school where maybe 3 subjects could be taught in English and the other 3 in the regional language. makes sense to me, as I agree totally to what the same person said when he pointed out that those speaking the loudest on the issue have their kids study in up markets English language school!
When I came back to India after 16 years of living in other lands, it was a matter of pride to say that you had scored low marks in your lower Hindi paper, and all Hindi speaking peers were called Behanjis or Bhaiyyas.
I have always been comfortable speaking Hindi as my mother devised the best way to teach a child growing in a host of lands her mother tongue: she just spoke Hindi to me from day 1 and I was very surprised to know that she did she did speak English when I was six!
The great English divide has to come to a long awaited end, but it can only come when the upmarket people accept to send their children to the government run school down the road!
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