Published: 07th November 2019
AP turning government schools to English-medium leaves Telugu-lovers irate
This was in response to the Andhra Pradesh government's order to make English-medium compulsory in government schools
The State government's decision to opt for English as the medium of instruction in government schools instead of Telugu has evoked a mixed response from the public, with vernacular language purists vehemently opposing the move.
The Andhra Pradesh government's order to work towards making all government, MPP schools, Zilla Parishad Schools and all classes from I to VII English-medium received mixed responses and very strong opposition from language purists.
Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy in his election manifesto has stated that if and when he is elected, he will work towards making sure that the English language is used as the medium of instruction in government schools. He also promised that better education will be offered to government schools when compared to private schools.
Adhering to this promise, the Chief Minister made the announcement on November 2 that English will be used to teach students in government schools for classes one to eight, while classes nine and 10 will implement the proposal from 2021. But Telugu language experts and educationist are demanding that the order should be revoked and are opposing the government order while the state government continues to formulate proposals to understand if school teachers are comfortable teaching in English as opposed to Telugu. In a phased manner, the training is expected to start next year in January and is expected to continue through the summer vacation.
Former deputy speaker and Telugu expert Mandali Budda Prasad said, "Time and again studies have proven that students develop better personalities if education is imparted to them in their mother tongue. But here in our state, the government is acting foolishly and replacing the vernacular medium with English as the medium of instruction in schools. It is sad that students are left without an option if they want to pursue higher education in their native tongue."
Mandali Budda also added that switching to English-medium won't solve burning issues like lack of communication skills and unemployment. "The government should have stuck to Telugu-medium and make English a mandatory language. It is quite obvious that the government's decisions are only favouring the corporate sector."
The teachers' unions are also in a quandary over the announcement. They believe that assessment of their English language skills and the subsequent training for those found lacking would ultimately prove to be detrimental to the entire teaching community as the government's objectives cannot be achieved in a few months.
P Babu Reddy, State General Secretary of United Teachers Federation (UTF), said, "Introducing English as an additional subject is quite different from converting to English-medium schools. Most of the teachers have studied in Telugu-medium and have an experience of teaching in it for around 20 to 30 years. Sudden conversion to English after being trained for a few weeks will not give the desired results. Students will also have a hard time understanding and might simply drop out."
Meanwhile, parents of students enrolled in government schools are elated and are happily welcoming the move.
N Sukanya, a vegetable vendor in Vijayawada city said, "I spend almost `20,000 on my son's education in a private school. Though it is hard to spend such a hefty sum, I do it while keeping his future in mind. If the government offers my son access to good facilities and English-medium in schools run by it then it would be a boon for poor people like me."