In a major policy decision, the JDS-BJP coalition government in Karnataka on Saturday announced it will make English a compulsory subject from First standard in primary schools from the coming academic year.
"All schools, government and private, will impart English from first standard from June 2007," Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Basavaraj Horatti said while briefing reporters on the decisions of the state cabinet meeting.
In another step to implement its three-language formula, the government decided to make learning of Kannada compulsory in all English medium schools, he said.
Kannada learning has also been made compulsory in schools run by linguistic minorities, which hitherto enjoyed the facility to teach Kannada as an optional subject from third standard, the Minister said.
Horatti declared that there was no change in the government's stand to derecognise more than 2000 schools which were being run in English medium, while they had obtained permission to run them as Kannada schools.
Bowing to public outcry, the government has decided to allow these schools which had already been derecognised to continue till March next.