A Kannada school for Marathis by Marathis

Rajan Samuel Hirekop

BELGAUM: Jamboti village of Khanapur taluk, dominated by Marathis is the best example of linguistic harmony between Kannada and Marathi people. Marathis here are running a Kannada primary school.

Even though there were no Kannada families in and around Jamboti village, the Government had started a Kannada primary school here in 1990. Now the school is being run by Marathis for Marathis, as almost all the students and SDMC members are Marathis. It has become a Kannada school for the Marathi people who have accepted the school as their own, giving education to their children in Kannada.

The school has classes only up to fifth standard. Keeping education away from the language dispute, the SDMC members have maintained the school so well, that they have even urged the Karnataka Government to upgrade the classes to stop their children going to other schools near Khanapur, which is 21 km away.

The school, which is the only Kannada school in and around Jamboti zone, started with just three students. Interestingly, those three were Marathis. Even now most of the students are Marathis.

Even though the villagers plead strongly in favour of Marathi, they prefer to teach their children Kannada so that they can obtain government jobs. It will also help them to be in the mainstream of society, they feels.

In the beginning, the school never used to celebrate Karnataka Rajyotsava, as the villagers who supported the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti, used to observe the establishment day of the state as Black Day.

Now, the school, which is managed by Marathis is celebrating Rajyotsava as in other Kannada schools. Impressed by the school, villagers of Mudagayi near Jamboti, have urged the Government to start a Kannada school in their village as well.

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