VIJAYAWADA: Amid protests, HRD Minister Adimulapu Suresh has defended the government’s decision to introduce English as the medium of instruction in all government schools in the State from next academic year.
“In order to develop the capabilities of students from a very young age, it is needed to bring English medium education in government schools. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy wanted that every child, irrespective of their caste, creed and financial status, will get quality and equal education,” the minister said at a press conference here on Friday.
“The Opposition parties and language experts are opposing the State government’s decision. My straight question is any of their children or grandchildren are studying in Telugu medium? If their children are not studying, why should the children from backward communities study in Telugu medium and lose their opportunities?” Suresh demanded to know.
“In order to benefit students from rural areas and those from backward classes, we wanted to give them the same level of education what others are getting in private schools. The Chief Minister has taken the decision to make the students ready in the competitive study atmosphere and make sure that they gain good communication skills,” he asserted.
From 2020-21 academic year, English medium will be introduced for classes 1 to 8; in 2021-22, class 9 and in 2022-23, class 10 will switch over to English medium.
For class 8 students, who will be affected by the transition phase, special and remedial classes will be taken to make them ready before the SSC examinations.
The teachers will be trained by experts from prestigious institutions such as English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU), Regional Institute of English, Bangalore and Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. As many as 98,000 teachers will undergo training.
The minister assured that Telugu will be taught to all the students and the government will make sure that importance will be given to mother tongue even though the schools are converted into English medium.
It’s against national edu policy, say MLCs
The MLCs of Progressive Democratic Front — V Balasubramanyam, KS Lakshman Rao and Y Srivasulu Reddy — opposed the government’s decision to convert all the government schools into English medium. The members demanded the withdrawal of the order issued in that regard. Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Balasubramanyam said, “As many as 27 lakh students will be in a catch-22 situation with the government’s decision. Not just the Telugu medium, all the regional mediums such as Urdu, Tamil, Kannada and Odia will be abolished. The decision is against the National Education Policy, which clearly states that all the students from class 1-5 should be taught in their mother language.”