New AP law to replace Telugu with English as teaching language in schools

File Photo of Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. Source: PTI

The Andhra Pradesh government is bringing in a Bill during the ongoing winter session of the Legislature for amending the AP Education Act, 1982, to give a legal shield to the proposal for conversion of all schools in the state to the English medium of instruction.

The state government has decided to make English the medium of instruction for classes 1 to 6 in all 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 Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy is firm on going ahead with the decision "come what may" and accordingly, wants to give it legislative backing, highly- placed sources told PTI.

He discussed the issue with a core team of top officials here on Saturday and asked the School Education Department to draft the Bill for enactment in the ongoing winter session of the Legislature, the sources revealed.

A Cabinet note on the draft Bill is being circulated among the ministers for formal approval before introducing it in the Legislature.

"The Bill will be taken up either on Monday or Tuesday. The Chief Minister wants to ensure that the English medium proposal has the required legal backing so that nobody could tamper with the ultimate objective," the sources averred.

Classes from I to VI in Primary, Upper Primary, High Schools under all managements will first be converted into English medium from the academic year 2020-21.

English medium will be introduced for classes 7 to 10 in the subsequent four years from 2021-22, as per the government's plan.

The state government initially wanted to make English the medium of instruction from classes 1 to 8 but has now restricted it up to class 6 due to reasons like non- availability of qualified teachers and textbooks.

"We will go ahead with English medium schools, come what may. We have to prepare the students to boldly face and stand up to the requirements of the technology-driven world and we should not be found wanting in it.

We should not feel guilty by not preparing the generation-next to face the highly dynamic and technology- driven world," the Chief Minister noted in his recent speeches on the issue.

The mission would be carried forward, with all government schools getting the required infrastructure and skill upgrade, he said, adding English labs would be set up in all schools.

In line with the Chief Minister's assertion, the AP Education Act, 1982, will be suitably amended to incorporate provisions related to English medium of instruction.

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