"Kannada? Sure you didn't mis-spell Canada, dad?"

If you're one of those parents trying to find an English-medium state-syllabus (SSLC) school for your son or daughter in Karnataka, there's bad news for you. Okay, it's not an event which has happened overnight, but slowly but surely, SSLC schools in Karnataka are dying an unwept, unhonoured, and unsung death. Death meaning conversion to ICSE or CBSE syllabus.

And with their death shall come the death of understanding what Karnataka is, what Kannada is, what Karnataka's history was, what the importance of Kannada, Kannadiga and Karnataka are - in the lives of your children. And with all this is coming the premature death of the great (English-educated) Kannadigas of the future who we were thinking will continune our labours and transform Karnataka into Heaven! CBSE/ICSE educated Kannadiga children won't even know that something called Karnataka existed or exists, or that their own mother-tongue is Kannada (let alone speak it)! They will be made to feel that the history of Karnataka is a desert of underachievement. They will be made to feel that real men with real balls have never treaded on this soil. It's all waiting to happen.

This year alone, we have seen atleast 5 very good English-medium state-syllabus SSLC schools in South Bengaluru alone stop offering SSLC syllabus. They have shifted to CBSE or ICSE. The reasons given by the schools are:
  • "Parents don't demand state-syllabus (SSLC)"
  • "We can't have both state-syllabus and CBSE/ICSE on the same campus by law"
There is no proof of the first statement, and the second one, if true, shows the stupidity of the policies formed by the education department. Of course, all this may be a major money-minting racket in which officials and ministers of the Govt. of Karnataka could be partners in crime. Until now, there used to be a check on the number of CBSE and ICSE schools in any state, and those schools were limited to children of direct or indirect employees of the central government. But have the corrupt, in-fighting, infefficient, stone-throwing, nauseating empty vessels of Karnataka succesfully worked out a "scheme" by which they can mint black money by signing off conversions to CBSE and ICSE?

Another question which needs to be answered is - why are school managements wanting to convert to CBSE/ICSE? Why is there such an urge to convert? The answer is obvious: there's more money to be made from CBSE/ICSE schools. We don't approve of schools turning into money-minting shops. But now that they have so turned and there doesn't seem to be any quick fix for reversing things, we are forced to seek an answer to the following question: Why can't SSLC schools make as much money? What's the cash-cow on the CBSE/ICSE side which doesn't exist on the SSLC side? Can somebody answer?


Anonymous said...

My feeling is that parents normally get influenced by good marketing by ICSE/CBSE affiliated schools. The reason might be parents spend very little time in reasearch on education needs of their kid and try to emulate what others do or made appear to do by our english media. Our english media normally highligts news on CBSE/ICSE and give very little coverage of state board. Also, people choose CBSE/ICSE in case they forsee moving/relocating to other part of country as these school have presence all over our country. I have enrolled my daughter to an ICSE affiliated school as she was insisting on going to a school where most of her friends are going. I dont know how but these CBSE/ICSE affiliated school have made themself superlative, atleast in the mind of parents and kids.

dandapinda said...

The state schools like National High School, Vijaya High School , Vidyavardaka Sangha etc have been doing very well but they are somehow termed as 'middle class' schools. The english media has put the picture in the minds of parents that kids who study in CBSE or ICSE schools have an edge over kids who study in state syllabus schools. I studied in a state syllabus school and turned out okay. But, I personally feel, the state syllabus definitely needs to be upgraded.
When I used to appear for competitive exams like IIT-JEE or AIEEE or even CET, I had to read a lot of other (non school) material to gain knowledge which the CBSE and ICSE syllabus would have covered, atleast the basics, in high school itself. There are certain things in the CBSE/ICSE syllabus which are better compared to state syllabus.

The state syllabus needs to be rewritten in my opinion rather than tinkering a few bits and pieces here and there.

Anonymous said...

According to my knowledge and experience, CBSE/ICSE students are more fast learners and they have capability to contest the SSLC exams Question paper in theis 9th std itself...

So, i think there is no issue in things. but coming to money matters, Yes these things should be stopped. because these types of Schools meant for robbing money from midddle class people

Anonymous said...

The major drift towards ICSE/CBSE is because of the syllabus they teach, it helps the students to compete aggressively for CET/JEE .. If our k'taka board adopts science and maths from CBSE syllabus that would help the cause , but doubt if parents would still send their children to the state schools ..

Naveen said...

Whatever it is my colleauges just want their kid to study CBSC/ICSC syllabus. state syllabus, they feel dont have the capacity to put their kids ahead in todays competitive world.

"My mom forced me to learn hindi so that I could get central govt. job, but I couldn't learn hindi. Now I wont let this happen to my Child" is what my colleauge says.

Anonymous said...

The major drift towards ICSE/CBSE is because of the syllabus they teach, it helps the students to compete aggressively for CET/JEE .

- I agree.

girishprabhu said...

The famous school, MES, at Malleshwaram, where I studied, had state syllabus. Now, they have a branch at Vidyaranyapura, which offers only ICSE!
I couldnt find a good state syllabus school near Vidyaranyapura and had to be content with sending my cousin to a ICSE school.
The only point that makes me happy is that this school (Little Lilly's) teaches Kannada in addition to the subjects it has.
Can Government bring in some legislation to make sure that the increase in the number of ICSE/CBSE schools is checked?

Anonymous said...

There are few things I would like to mention ..
Introducing ICSE/CBSE syllabus in our state schools would certainly help the students to compete well in CET/JEE but only in Urban areas and in rural areas it will create a mayhem !!!

Before the state board changed the examination pattern( 10th paper contains only MCQs and 2 line answers) the passing %age of rural schools was in single digit, but now it has been drastically improved. So government's effort in increasing the number of students who reach college will be defeated.

Are we just looking at the tip of the iceberg ?

dandapinda said...

@ Anonymous,

But is the passing percentage a true reflection on the quality of education?

Our education system be it state or CBSE or ICSE is flawed in my feeling. It teaches more and more 'mugging' and there is very little space for understanding the application of it. We learn because we have to and we never realize why we have to. The education system which can impart this 'why' will be the best. A major part of this will come down to the teachers of the system. Until and unless the system has teachers who teach the value and need of education it makes no difference as to what syllabus the kid studies.

Dr HN, was one person whom I have seen advocate this. When I used to approach him with a doubt, the first question that he used to put across is - 'idu yaake odutta iddiya, idarinda enu prayojana anta gotta magu?'. This is what we need. Until then, state or CBSE, there is no difference!

Jai Veerupaksha said...

The core issue is of short sightedness and an absolute lack of clarity of what the parents want for their kids from the education system. If the goal of parents is only the percentage that they score or whether they are able to make it to IIT or not then it is very likely that they put their childrn in Schools that make it easy for their kids to do so.

Another issue again points to the flawed federal set up - The central Government increasingly having its hands on a huge chunk of funds that have been contributed by the states that they can use for such nefarious activities that promotes only Hindi and English as the language of the elite(of India as well eventually) through the education system-ICSE CBSE being just vehicles for carrying it out. Secondly why is it that all these so called best centres of learning always under the Centre's control.It is mainly because the centre alone has the money to afford them. Can the states come up with an institue of the calibre of an IIT once in 5 years atleast in their respective states where the criteria for admission is a good score in SSLC schools/PU colleges of the state Board. The answer is a deafening "No".

The issue is not limited to Karnataka alone. In states like AP,( which sends among the largest number of students to IITs), the focus of education gets limited to whether the kid has made it to IIT or not after his 12th standard. Even if he gets just 60% in his 12th standard in state syllabus or has an abysmally low attendance % in his class, everything is excused as long he is spending 10-12 hours per day at various coaching centres that guarantee a rank at JEE. The last thing on the minds of parents is whether this education will eventually help contribute to the society and to the nation at large.

The greater danger is the larger than life image created for these Centrally controlled centre's of excellence which is creating a degree of inferiority complex in student's across(creating a different divide) various syllabi w/o a root cause analysis as to whether the syllabus is to be blamed for the students performance. And these numbers will grow..one can already see he NIT's in each state coming fully under the Centre's control.May be 20 years from now we may have 200 IIT's and then see the real fun.....More and more people will gravitate towards these Central Govt institutes that is the outcome of a flawed Federal set up and has less to do with the state syllabus and the like.

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