KOCHI: Kannada-speaking linguistic minority students in Kasargod district on Monday approached the Kerala High Court seeking a directive to the state government not to insist on them to study Malayalam as one of the languages in their curriculum.
According to the petition filed by four students from various schools in Kasargod, it is impossible for a Kannada-speaking student to pick up Malayalam. The state has no authority to compel students to study Malayalam. Hence, the provisions in the Malayalam Language (Compulsory Language) Bill, 2017, are unconstitutional, the petition stated.
The authorities insist on implementing the provision of the Malayalam Language(Compulsory Language) Bill passed by the Assembly in May from this academic year. The state government has declared Karsargod and Manjeshwar taluks as linguistic minority areas.
In Kasargod, almost all teaching and non-teaching staff use Kannada language. Documents in all government offices are in Kannada. There are 192 schools in Kasargod and in 74 schools, medium of teaching is Kannada. More than 40,000 students are presently pursuing their education through Kannada medium, it stated.
The petitioners also sought to strike down the Malayalam Language(Compulsory Language) Bill as ultra vires of the Constitution. They stated as per Section 3 of the Bill, it is mandatory for students from Class I to X to learn Malayalam. The Centre had adopted a three-language formula in at the secondary stage of education for teaching language subjects.