The Telangana Legislative Assembly on Saturday passed a Bill to make Telugu compulsory in all schools in the state.
All parties in the state including the BJP, AIMIM and TDP supported the Telangana (Compulsory Teaching and Learning of Telugu in Schools) Act, 2018.
The bill was moved on the floor of the House by Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Kadiam Srihari, who said that it aimed to conserve and promote Telugu, which was the language of the people.
"Telugu language shall be,- (a) at school level,- (i) a compulsory subject from Standard I to Standard X; (ii) introduced at Standard I in Primary Schools and Standard VI in the High Schools from the Academic Year 2018-19 and shall be extended for further classes progressively as specified in the Schedule," the Bill stated.
However, changing its earlier stance that the language would be compulsory till Class 10 in one go, the state government said that Telugu would be introduced only in Class 1 and Class 6 this academic year in Central schools, and gradually be implemented till Class 10, in phases.
Earlier this week, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao said that his state government had decided to make Telugu a mandatory subject in all public and private schools from the coming academic year.
"We decided to make Telugu a compulsory subject as it is our responsibility to respect our mother tongue and our culture. Studying in English medium schools is becoming a must to acquire good education. We don't want to spoil the career of our children and that is the reason we are making it compulsory to include Telugu along with other subjects," KCR was quoted as saying.
The Telangana CM's decision came after he chaired a high-level meeting at Pragati Bhavan with Deputy CM and Education Minister Kadiyam Srihari along with other ministers like KT Rama Rao and top bureaucrats like Rajiv Sharma.
In November last year, the state government received the sub-committee report on making Telugu a compulsory subject from Class I to Intermediate, after KCR announced his plans in September.
â€śAfter studying the mother tongue policy that has been implemented in Tamil Nadu and Punjab, we decided to implement Telugu as a compulsory subject till Class 10 for now,â€ť KCR had said at the time.