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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Konkani for class 6 students in coastal areas

BANGALORE: The state government is all set to teach Konkani to nearly 5,000 students in coastal areas from the academic year 2007-08.

The Directorate of State Educational Research and Training (DSERT) in association with Konkani Sahithya Academy has designed a curriculum in Konkani for sixth standard students.

Konkani textbook committee member Stephen Quadors told this newspaper that the designed syllabus was similar to the third language now taught in sixth standard.

“The textbooks will be made available in two scripts - Kannada and Devanagari. Two separate committees have been constituted to write the text in these two scripts. This initiative is taken in order to promote Konkani and Kannada languages,” he said.

The contents in the textbook are: 11 prose, seven poetry and four pre-study exercises. About 5,000 students from 226 schools in coastal areas, including Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts, will study this language in Kannada script.

“There are less students who can read Konkani in Devanagari script,” he observed. A member of the committee alleged that Devanagari script was introduced due to political pressure.

“There are two MLAs who have been insisting on teaching Konkani in Devanagari script. There is doubt whether the two MLAs have any academic reason to propose this,” the member said.

The member pointed out that in coastal areas there were Konkani newspapers, books and sufficient literature in Kannada script, but no single newspaper or adequate books in Devanagari script.

Last year, the Academy had introduced teaching Konkani in Kannada script to 1,586 students from 56 schools on experimental basis. The programme proved successful and only then the Academy decided to introduce it in the syllabus.

The prepared text in Kannada script has already been accepted by the State Government and the process of publishing textbooks will commence shortly.

“There were some mistakes in the content. So we have sent back the materials to get the corrected version. By May 20, about 6,000 books will be published,” Sathyanarayana Reddy, Director, DSERT told this website's newspaper.

He added that next year it would be introduced to seventh standard students.

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