The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to seek public opinion on the preferred medium of instruction yet again, this time through NDTV. A government order issued by the School Education Department on Thursday said that the state government has accepted NDTVâ€™s proposal to conduct an opinion poll to ascertain views on medium of instruction in government schools. NDTV will also produce seven short films on the state governmentâ€™s school education programs, the order said.
The YSRCP governmentâ€™s decision to make English medium compulsory in government schools has been much contested and opposed. The Andhra Pradesh High Court has set aside the state governmentâ€™s order to make English medium instruction compulsory for classes 1 to 6.
Earlier in December, the court had questioned the legality of the move, saying the medium of instruction must be a choice made by parents and students. After this, the government took the opinion of parents through parents' committees from nearly 43,000 schools, and Education Minister Adimulapu Suresh has said that these committees had all shown their support for English medium. However, the HC refused to consider the parentsâ€™ committeesâ€™ opinion and set aside the orders. Following this, the state Education Minister had told media that the government would file a Special Leave Petition with the Supreme Court.
Since then, the government has gathered opinions from parents a second time, by conducting a doorstep survey through village and ward volunteers. The government has claimed that about 17,87,035 parentsâ€™ votes were gathered in April, and that around 96% of these parents chose English medium.
The government has now roped in NDTV to do a third-party survey on the same issue. â€śGovernment, after careful examination of the proposal, has observed that there is an urgent need to have a third party survey through a reputed organization on the preferred medium of instruction in Government schools and also the need for developing short movies on various schemes launched and reforms introduced in the School Education Department for wide publicity,â€ť the order said. The expenditure will be met from the Samagra Shiksha grants available for the financial year 2020-21.
Meanwhile, the government has announced that schools will reopen on August 3, and officials are working on finalising Standard Operating Procedure to be followed by schools to avoid COVID-19 infections.