The Andhra Pradesh government will go ahead with the decision of introducing English medium for Class 1 to 6, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said on Wednesday, adding that he had a firm resolve to 'usher in sweeping reforms in the education system'. He also asserted that education is the only answer to poverty.
The government will move ahead with its plan to introduce English medium from Class 1 to 6 although a law in this regard, which was passed in the state assembly, has been challenged in court, Jagan said.
"There could be some teething problems but we are ready to face the challenges," an official statement quoted the chief minister as saying in a brainstorming session with education department officials and other stakeholders in Amaravati
"The state government is giving training to teachers and bridge courses to children and "very soon, we can see children passing out, completing board exams, in the natural course", he said on the decision on introducing English medium.
Jagan said some vested interests have tried to block the decision of introducing English medium from Class 1 to 6.
"We moved the Supreme court and our resolve is firm and we will go ahead with the reforms," he said.
The chief minister said two surveys have found that parents want English medium education for their children.
"We have conducted a survey taking the views of parents' committees on English medium, and 94 percent replied in the affirmative. Another survey was conducted, this time reaching out to parents of 40 lakh students asking them to pick their option, and an overwhelming 96 percent said that they want to send their children to study in English medium," the chief minister said.
The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) has suggested that one Telugu medium school per mandal' would be a good option. "We will explore all options and will decisively go ahead with English medium as poverty can be fought only by education," Jagan said.
Besides reforms in the education sector, the state government is providing incentives under the 'Amma Vodi' scheme where Rs 15,000 is credited to a mother's account for sending her child to school.
In January, around 43 lakh mothers were given Rs 6,350 crore under the scheme benefitting about 82 lakh children from Class 1 to Class 12. Unlike last year, the state government this year will insist on 75 per cent attendance of children.
On the reopening day of schools, this time on August 3, children would be given a 'Jaganna Vidya Kanuka Kit' comprising three pairs of uniform, belt, shoes, socks, text and note books, and school bag, the statement said.
When the child goes for college education, the state government has decided to provide full fees reimbursement to students to increase the enrolment ratio.
The chief minister also discussed reforms being undertaken to enhance education infrastructure under the 'Nada Nedu' programme, among others.
In the meeting, Jagan also shared that his government has cleared the previous dispensation's dues of Rs 1,880 crores and paid full reimbursement till this quarter, which works out to Rs 4,200 crore, for benefit of 19 lakh students.
From next quarter, the amount would be credited to the mother's account, he said.