Sat. May 8th, 2021

SC: State can not impose medium of instruction in schools

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In a recent judgement, the Supreme Court bench held that “imposition of the mother tongue as the medium of instruction in primary classes in government recognised schools, aided or unaided private schools was unconstitutional. And the state can not stipulate it as a condition for recognition of schools.”

Quashing the order of Karnataka High Court, the Constitutional bench stated that, “The state could not compel minority schools, protected under Article 29(1) & 30(1) of the Constitution and private unaided schools enjoying the right to carry on any occupation under Article 19(1)(g), to offer instruction in the mother tongue or Kannada.”

“The State has no power under the Article 350A of the Constitution to compel the linguistic minorities also to choose their mother tongue only as a medium of instruction in primary schools.”

“Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution includes the freedom of a child to be educated at the primary stage of school in a language of choice of the child.” The state can not impose controls on such choice just because it thinks it will be more beneficial for the child if he/she is taught in his/her mother tongue in primary stage.

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