Directive on mother tongue of school heads

HMs of Tamil, Kannada schools should have that language as mother tongue

The mother tongue of headmasters or headmistresses appointed to Tamil or Kannada-medium schools in the State should be the medium of instruction of these schools, the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has said.

A single bench of commission member Reny Antony was acting on a petition by Joby K. Thomas, president of the parent-teacher association of Government Lower Primary School, Vellathooval, Adimali, Idukki.

As per the complaint, Tamil teachers appointed to Malayalam medium schools in Idukki and other districts directly or through transfer were not able to teach students or peruse other teachers’ notes. Only those proficient in Malayalam should be appointed as heads of Malayalam-medium schools.

Reports of the Director of General Education (DGE) and the Idukki Deputy Director of Education (DDE) said that appointments of primary head teachers through promotion were not done separately for Malayalam/Tamil. No separate seniority list was prepared. The only guidelines for promotion were 12 years of service and passing departmental-level examinations. There was no stipulation for clearing language tests.

The commission observed that appointment of head teachers not proficient in the medium of instruction of Malayalam, Tamil, and Kannada-medium schools was affecting implementation of teaching-learning activities and the academic standard of schools.

As per the Right to Education Act, for all-round development of the child it was important that the medium of instruction be the child’s mother tongue. The appointment of head teachers not fluent in students’ mother tongue was a violation of children’s rights, the panel said.

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