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'Groundwork must to introduce Tulu as medium of instruction'

Staff Correspondent

Introduction of language into education system needs to be done in phases Introduction of language into education system needs to be done in phases `Adopting Tulu as a medium of instruction in schools requires extensive research in the language in order to prepare a curriculum'

MANGALORE: Tulu can be adopted as a medium of education. But the process requires thorough and committed groundwork, said speakers at a discussion on "Adoption of Tulu as a medium of instruction" here on Wednesday.

The discussion was organised by the Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy under the K. Ramayya Shetty and Bhawani R. Shetty Endowment Fund donated by Vedavati J. Shetty.

K. Chinnappa Gowda, Head, Department of Kannada, Mangalore University, and member of the academy, said that the academy, in association with other Tulu forums, could start a course to teach Tulu to those who are interested in learning the language on their own.

This course should be structured in a manner to teach Tulu only to those who do not know Tulu at all.

As part of the second phase, the academy or educational institutions could start a certificate or diploma course in the Tulu.

In the third phase, Tulu could be introduced as a language such as Kannada, Sanskrit, Hindi or French in schools and colleges.

He also said that there should be a separate paper on Tulu in the third stage as with other languages.

However, the language can be adopted as a medium of education only the last stage.

Mr. Gowda said that adopting Tulu as a medium of instruction requires extensive groundwork to prepare a curriculum.

One should be clear regarding the framing of syllabus for different classes and for different subjects.

Teachers

Once the language is adopted as a medium of instruction in schools, subjects such as science, mathematics and social subjects will also have to be taught in Tulu.

This requires trained teachers who are proficient and have a good command over the language.

He said that according to one estimate there are approximately 50 lakh Tulu speaking people in the country. This equals the total population of Finland. Tulu even has great epics such as "Siri Mahakavya" and the epics of Koti-Chennaya.

Amrut Someshwar, writer, said that Tulu is one of the five Dravidian languages. He said that Tulu is a rich language that is facing the threat from universalisation of English. Bassel Mission, which has contributed to the promotion of Tulu, had planned to use Tulu as a medium of instruction.

However, the plan was given up following opinions expressed in media.

Approval

Though attempts have been made to get Constitutional approval for the language, they have failed due to the lack of political will.

Mr. Someshwar said that the culture of a country will survive only if the unique cultures of individual regions are protected. He suggested that the academy should start a course to teach Tulu and organise annual Tulu book exhibitions.

M. Vasudeva Rao, teacher, and B. M. Rohini, writer, spoke on the occasion.

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