The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday questioned the state government over the legality of its move to introduce mandatory English medium from Class 1 to Class 6 in all government schools across the state.
A bench of the HC, comprising Chief Justice J K Maheswari and Justice M Venkata Ramana, was hearing two separate Public Interest Litigations (PILs) filed by two individuals -- Rambhotla Srinivas and Dr G Srinivas.
The petitioners, who challenged Government Order (GO) 85 which was issued by the state on November 20, argued that the state's move was a violation of the Right to Education Act) of 2009, and said that children and parents must have the right to select their medium of instruction.
The petitioners also pointed out that the state government was already going ahead with its plans, by printing English textbooks for the next academic year and conducting training classes for teachers.
Meanwhile, the state's counsel sought time to file a response to the PIL.
Issuing notices to officials of the state government to file a counter-affidavit spelling out the reason for the move, the High Court said that the final decision on the issue will be taken by the bench.
Following this, the case was adjourned for further hearing to January 27.
The state government had earlier said that it would make English the medium of instruction for classes 1 to 6 in all government-run schools, replacing the native language Telugu, beginning from 2020-21 academic year, with Telugu or Urdu being a compulsory subject.
While there is strong opposition to the move from different quarters, Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has said that his government will not step back.
English medium will be introduced for classes 7 to 10 in the subsequent four years from 2021-22, as per the government's plan.