Stakeholders divided on plan to scrap Telugu in municipal schools

January 14, 2017 12:00 am | Updated 04:25 am IST - VIJAYAWADA:

The government’s decision to do away with Telugu as a medium of instruction in municipal schools across the State has vertically split the stakeholders into supporters and challengers of the move.

The recent GO directing municipal schools to scrap Telugu medium and adopt English as a medium of instruction triggered a heated debate on the necessity and feasibility factors.

In what appears to be incoherence at the policy-making level, the choice of introducing English as a medium of instruction in municipal schools runs parallel with the recommendations of the committee constituted to promote the Telugu language in a big way.

Headed by the Minister for Culture Palle Raghunatha Reddy, the panel has as its members Assembly Deputy Speaker Mandali Buddha Prasad, Adviser to Government Parakala Prabhakar, Secretary Tourism and Culture Nagulapalli Srikanth and Director, Archaeology, G V Ramakrishna Rao. Director of the Department of Language and Culture D. Vizai Bhaskar is the member secretary for the committee.

Sources said the committee, in its recommendations likely to be submitted to Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, has strongly advocated the need to strengthen the Telugu language not only at school-level but in colleges as well.

Leaders of the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Teachers’ Organisations have also expressed strong resentment against the move, saying it would tantamount to ruining the lives of students in municipal schools as they would neither be able to catch up with the new mode while losing touch with Telugu as well.

Welcome move

Brushing aside their contention, members of the Municipal Teachers Federation of Andhra Pradesh, have welcomed the move saying “this is the only way to help children in the civic schools to keep pace with their counterparts in the corporate sector.”

“Today every individual, regardless of his social status, wants his/her children to go to English medium school that is the gateway to a prosperous future. The number of children in municipal schools is dwindling because of this reason. Parents from even poor economic background join their wards in municipal schools to help them learn the fundamentals of a subject in the lower classes. After fourth or fifth class, they take them away to private corporate school,”says S. Rama Krishna, president of the Federation.

Also the headmaster of Guntur Municipal Corporation Upper Primary School at Nayi Brahmin Colony, Mr. Rama Krishna says if English is introduced “we’ll at least be able to retain our children here.”

He says teachers in municipal schools are upbeat and they have already evolved a pattern to fall in the groove by the next academic year. “On a pilot basis, we follow a system wherein teachers have gradually started shifting to English medium in a phased manner as the year progresses. I am sure this will work and yield the desired result,” he says confidently.

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