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Updated: November 5, 2012 14:35 IST

It’s going to be Telugu ‘Velugu’ vs English-Vinglish

P. Sujatha Varma
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Mandali Budha Prasad.
Mandali Budha Prasad.

The new Chairman of Official Language Commission Mandali Budha Prasad is eager to set the ball rolling for effective implementation of Telugu at all levels

A language tussle seems to be just round the corner in schools and colleges with the Andhra Pradesh Official Language Commission determined to put in place an effective mechanism to ensure that the Telugu language is given its due respect in educational institutions.

In the existing system, speaking in Telugu language is a serious ‘offence’ in most private schools. In their attempt to hone English speaking skills among students at the primary-level, teachers are instructed not to allow students to talk in their mother tongue.

Punishment is awarded to ‘offenders’ in various forms. “Black Card’ punishment is a common system. A ‘Black Card Leader’ is appointed in each class with the task of identifying Telugu-speaking students. If a student gets three black cards in a row, he/she is at the risk of losing marks in the next test. This arm-twisting works like magic as students fall in line for fear of losing marks.

The school managements are unanimous on the contention that immersion is an excellent way to learn a language. “Unless you engage a child in interaction, he/she will never be able to learn a language. We are expected to transform students into all-rounders,” says a teacher of a local school.

Meanwhile, the new Chairman of Official Language Commission Mandali Budha Prasad, a known proponent of Telugu language, is eager to set the ball rolling for effective implementation of Telugu at all levels. Immediately after assuming office, Mr. Buddha Prasad warned school managements that the Commission would not tolerate any insult to Telugu language.

“Very soon, the matter will be discussed with S. Sailajanath and K. Parthasaradhy, Ministers for Primary and Secondary Education respectively. We have official orders for implementation of Telugu as teaching language from 1 grade to the 10 grade. But, private schools don’t seem to be adhering to the norm. This would cause harm to Telugu language. We’ll soon decide on how to reign in schools violating norms,” Mr. Buddha Prasad told The Hindu on Sunday.

He threatened the schools punishing Telugu-speaking students even with de-recognition.

“We also want to promote Telugu at intermediate-level. Students now use English language script to write their Sanskrit exam. The Government will soon make use of Devanagari language as medium of writing mandatory, as Telugu borrows several features of Sanskrit,” he said.

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