The Telegraph, UK reports the move in Germany to stop teaching English to children below 11 years of age:
Germany's move is based on the fact that they have a decent German-medium education system in place - a system in which English is unnecessary for children. Unlike us, Germany is a land of people who don't commit cultural suicide at every given opportunity.
The country is among many in the world which adopted the mantra of 'the earlier the better' when it came to teaching pupils English.
Poor marks in the international Pisa studies of educational prowess in recent years gave even more urgency to start English lessons – in some cases for children aged as young as four.
But research by the Catholic University of Eichstaett has thrown the educational authorities into confusion. An unpublished study of schoolteachers shows that 95 per cent of sixth formers who had primary school English lessons were no better at the language than children who did not.
Two thirds of the teachers consider English instruction before the age of 11 "completely redundant." "The effect of primary school English is completely nil," said Wolfgang Klein, director of the Max Planck Institute for Linguistics in the neighbouring Netherlands.
Teachers reported in the study that very young children learned many words, but not the grammar to string them together properly.
Researchers said political pressure from Berlin and the EU drove schools to adopt English for children who hadn't properly learned their own mother tongue.
Often teachers have only a basic grasp of the English they are teaching their pupils, the study found.
Germany's 16 individual states are to consider the impact of the Eichstaett study and decide whether to improve the programme for teaching very young children or scrap it altogether.
The question is - is Karnataka in a position to follow suit? Make no mistake. The answer is "Not yet, but we need to work towards it."
Although linguistically Kannada is more distant than German from English, we have built a stupid system which negates the importance of Kannada itself in education. This has to be set right first. The Kannada medium education system needs to come up to speed first - as much to speed as German schools in Germany are - before we make the move to drop English from school syllabi.
But why are we speaking up about this when popular English-media rhetoric is to drop Kannada from schools, not English (because our intelligentsia unintelligently considers English as the raw material for success in a Globalized world)? Because popular rhetoric is wrong. And we must set right wrongs for Kannadigas to march into the next century.
For the story in The Telegraph, go to: Germany considers scrapping English lessons