Vijayawada

Panel chief defends decision on medium of instruction

‘Telugu now being used only as a language of communication’

R. Kantha Rao, Chairman of Andhra Pradesh School Education Regulatory and Monitoring Commission, has defended the government decision to replace Telugu with English as a medium of instruction in government schools saying that people’s priorities have changed and Telugu is now being used only as a language to communicate.

Addressing the media here on Wednesday on the ongoing row, he said the fears that the glory of the Telugu language would fade or that the language loses its importance were unfounded.

He said English as a medium of instruction would not pose any threat to Telugu. Justice Rao said although schools in the State were in Telugu medium all these years, the language had lost its literary touch as it was reduced to a mere language of communication. Citing the example of Telugu novelist Yandamuri Veerendranath, who quit his job for the passion of Telugu language and started writing, he said but later he switched role as a personality development trainer for want of readers for his novels.

Many other Telugu writers and poets followed suit and this was when Telugu was the medium of instruction in State schools, he pointed out.

“This is because of the changing priorities,” he reiterated, explaining that people now were interested in finding employment and livelihood. He said amidst a myriad tensions today, people’s interest in mother tongue was on the wane.

He said one of the fundamental facts about language was that it keeps changing with time. Today students use English words while speaking in Telugu and same was the case with Telugu cinema, which had witnessed a change in the language it used today. To protect the glory of Telugu, he said educationists must kindle the students’ interest in the language by making them realise that literature could stoke creativity and broaden one’s horizons. Job opportunities should be created for people pursuing Telugu literature and all-out efforts should be made to develop the language and retain its glory, he added.

‘Won’t cause problems’

He also disagreed with the contention that ‘sudden switch’ would cause problems for students saying that since there would not be any examinations till Standard 5, students could learn in an atmosphere free of any pressure.

Teachers, he underlined, had a pivotal role to play in the whole exercise. He said the decision was not ‘unilateral’ as the government had invited views before constituting the committee he was heading.

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 7:17:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/panel-chief-defends-decision-on-medium-of-instruction/article29969782.ece

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