Telugu must as a second language paper for CBSE, ICSE, IC schools in Telangana

A digital class in progress at a government school in Khammam. File photo.

A digital class in progress at a government school in Khammam. File photo. | Photo Credit: RAO GN

After making Telugu a compulsory language paper in all the schools in Telangana since 2018, the Telangana government has now sent a letter to all the CBSE, ICSE and IB schools to ensure that their 10th class students mandatorily appear for Telugu in the Board exams as Second Language paper or else they may lose recognition.

Though the order was sent to these schools now given that their 10th class students have to appear for the Board exam, the government had directed them to make Telugu compulsory in 2018 itself. As per those directions, these schools had to teach Telugu as a second language paper even for non-Telugu students and a special book was designed for the non-Telugu speaking. So the Telugu language books are different for Telugu in the Government sector and in schools affiliated to CBSE, ICSE and IB.

The idea of making the language compulsory was born at the World Telugu Conference in 2017 where the Chief Minister, K. Chandrashekhar Rao announced that those studying in Telangana, irrespective of their school affiliation, must study Telugu as one of the languages. The Telangana (Compulsory Teaching and Learning of Telugu in Schools) Act 2018 was thus brought to introduce Telugu in a phased manner from 2018-19 to protect and preserve Telugu language and literature.

To ensure easy implementation, the language paper was introduced for Class 1 and Class 6 in 2018-19 and staggered manner thereafter for Class II and Class VII, Class III and Class 8, Class IV and Class 9. Now it is the turn of class 10 students to study Telugu as a language and appear for the Board exams. Moreover, as per the 2018 Act students of all classes from 1 to 10 would have to be covered by 2022-23.

“The circular issued now should be viewed from the Board exams point of view as schools were aware of the Act and its mandatory implementation since the last four years,” an official said.

The decision is not being thrust on the schools suddenly and the government made an elaborate exercise to design simple Telugu subject for the non-Telugu speakers in the CBSE, ICSE and IB schools. To ensure that children whose mother tongue was not Telugu, the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) designed and developed textbooks titled ‘Tenepalukulu’ for Classes I to V and ‘Vennela’ for Class VI to X.

For native Telugu-speaking students studying in both Telugu and English medium schools, there are standard textbooks. While ‘Jabili’ is for Classes I to V, ‘Nava Vasantham’ is for Classes VI, VII, and VIII and ‘Singidi’ is for classes IX and X. The textbooks are made available on the SCERT website ‘’

United Teachers Federation (UTF) Secretary, C. Ravi said there was no problem with Telugu in the government schools as students in Telugu, English and Urdu mediums in the government sector were already studying Telugu as one of the languages.

In fact, schools affiliated with different boards were asked to follow the textbooks developed by the SCERT besides appointing teachers to teach Telugu. Indifference to the Act had penal action including show-cause notices, penalties or withdrawal of recognition.

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2022 3:09:31 pm |