The Andhra governmentā€™s order to introduce English medium in all schools for primary grades has been challenged by the High Court.

Two young school girls are seen from the back walking in the crowded school grounds towards their school building with their backpacks Image for representation/Picxy
news Education Friday, July 31, 2020 - 08:24

Andhra Pradesh's Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government on Thursday said it remained committed to introducing English as the medium of instruction in government-run schools but claimed that its stand is not in conflict with the National Education Policy (NEP) announced by the Centre.

Education Minister Adimulapu Suresh told reporters that the government stands by its decision to introduce English, noting that the NEP says the medium of instruction should be home language or mother tongue, "wherever possible".

He said while the YSRCP government remained committed to English medium, it was not neglecting Telugu.

He said since the matter related to English medium is in the court, it was not fair to speak about it. He, however, said reports that appeared in a section of the media had not touched the core issue. "We have taken the opinion of parents and 95 per cent were in favour of the government decision, which was taken after careful consideration and consultations with the NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training)," he said.

The Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government plans to introduce English as a medium of instruction from classes 1 to 6 from 2020-21 academic year, while in classes 7 to 10, it would be added gradually in the next four years.

In April, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had set aside the government order, saying that children and parents should be given the choice in the language of learning. The state government has since challenged the High Court order in the Supreme Court.

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy stated recently that the government will go ahead with the decision of introducing English medium for Class 1 to 6, though some ā€˜vested interestsā€™ have tried to block the move. "We moved the Supreme Court and our resolve is firm and we will go ahead with the reforms," he said.

He said two surveys have found that parents want English medium education for their children.

The Education Minister said NEP has been thoroughly discussed, and the CM will be apprised about the outcomes.

He claimed that the NEP carried many of the recommendations made by the state government, as Jagan Mohan Reddy has been ā€œahead of timeā€ to visualise a level playing field to all students.

He said the Chief Minister wanted education to be accessible, affordable, have equity, quality and accountability and all these reflect in the NEP 2020. He has been advocating that poverty should not be a barrier to higher education and the policy says that no one should be deprived of education.

"Amma Vodi has been launched to incentivise mothers to send their children to school and the NEP talks about incentivising parents by cash transfers to bring down the dropout rate. Our government has brought in legislation to monitor and regulate the education in corporate education institutions and the NEP clearly states that education is not a commercial activity," he said.

The minister alleged that the previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government behaved like a brand ambassador for corporate education and went about closing down government schools. but the YSRCP government has revived them and under "Nadu Nedu", it is improving the infrastructure.

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