The government’s proposal to convert Telugu-medium schools to English-medium schools has not gone down well with teachers. Although they feel that having more number of government English-medium schools is a welcome change, they are of the opinion that replacement of Telugu-medium schools is not the solution. A.Narsi Reddy, president of the United Teachers Federation, says in an interview with Express that both English and Telugu media schools should run parallel for a decade or so and then can a decision be made. Here are excerpts:
Do you think medium of teaching will have an impact on learning?
The quality of education and the medium of instruction have no connection. During the Nizam rule, our education was in Urdu medium. For some time teaching was totally in English and then emerged Telugu on the scene. All this debate stems from the craze for English-medium education. Parents, irrespective of their financial standing, are shelling out huge sums of money to enrol their kids in English-medium schools. If the government can provide this facility, parents can be saved from financial crisis.
Should Telugu-medium schools continue to exist?
It’s never a great idea to replace one medium completely with another. In all other states, teaching is both in the local and English media. Ours is the first state to come out with a proposal like this. I think both media should coexist for some more time and a decision be made later. According to the current scenario, they should continue at least for five to ten years.
What happened to the much-touted KG-to-PG scheme?
In order to implement this scheme successfully, the government should first segregate Kindergarten (KG) and PG education. It would be great if the government can foray into pre-primary education this year itself. But, as nothing has been finalised, I think it won’t take off this year. Coming to PG, we just need to make some changes and strengthen our existing universities. The key is to have a great foundation to make school education stronger and important.