Weeks after he hit a discordant note by saying that Ram temple should be in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik has now advocated the use of “mother tongue” as the medium of instruction in primary education while cautioning the parents not to participate in “mad race for English medium schools”. Asserting that English is useful but could not be a substitute for the vernacular languages he said the language should be introduced from Class VIII onwards.
“There is mad race for getting children admitted in English medium schools. This mad race not only creates trouble for the students but also for the parents. I had pointed out this at seminar in Allahabad University too,” Naik said while citing the example of a maid at Raj Bhawan who wants to get her children admitted to schools where medium of instruction is English.
“The knowledge of English is, no doubt, useful. But it can not be a ‘vikalp’ (substitute) for ‘matrubhasha’ (mother tongue)”, Naik had at the Allahabad University on Tuesday.
Stating that the mother tongue, be it Hindi or any other vernacular language, should be the medium of instruction at least up to the secondary level, he said, adding, “This I know from my own experience. I had done my schooling through Marathi medium. Both my daughters did their primary level schooling in Marathi medium. Both are double graduates and are doing well”.
Governor said that English was necessary to keep up with the world in the time of international trade and computers thus it “should be taught from Class VIII”.
Speaking to the media on completion of six months in office, Naik targeted the Akhilesh Yadav government on various issues from law and order situation, to pending reports of Lokayukta to not celebrating the UP Foundation Day.
The Governor said if he reviewed the six months of his tenure he found that two days before coming to UP, a major incident (rape in state capital) had taken place in Lucknow and now also attacks are taking place in jail (Mathura) and even policemen are being attacked. “Such incidents are taking place in different parts of the state and they are very saddening…I would say in short that there is need to improve it (law and order),” he said. He also pointed out the failure of the state government in taking action on 10 pending reports of Lokayukta.
Naik said he was in regular contact with the chief minister and said that of the nine ordinances sent to him, he has given assent to seven. “I have sought clarifications on an ordinance giving cabinet status to the chairman of the State Minority Commission,” he said.
On the other, for setting up a medical university in Noida, he said he has asked the government to explain the “urgency” behind establishing the institution through an ordinance when a similar bill was brought in the Assembly in February 2014. “There have been three assembly sessions since then but government did not get it cleared, so what is the urgency. The ordinance also proposes to make CM the chancellor of the university, which I feel would affect its autonomy,” he added.
Asked if his statement on construction of Ram Mandir was beyond the purview of his constitutional post, Naik said, “I do not speak anything unconstitutional. I had presented my views in a balanced way and after giving it a proper thought”.