English medium in AP schools: Jagan hits out at critics

Our Bureau Vijayawada | Updated on November 11, 2019 Published on November 11, 2019

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy(file photo)

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy has defended the move of his Government to introduce instruction in English medium right from the primary level and said the critics of the policy are either misguided or they are misleading the public.

He made the comments at a public meeting in remembrance of Abul Kalam Azad here on Monday. "I think instruction in English medium is essential from the primary level in Government schools. Otherwise, our children will not be able to compete with others in the present-day competitive atmosphere. It will be a great handicap for them. However, Telugu or Urdu, as the case may be, will be given due recognition and respect as the mother tongue. Either language will be made a compulsory subject," he explained.

Striking a sarcastic note, he said, "However, some worthies like our honourable former Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu, Vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu and Janasena leader and film actor Pawan Kalyan are severely critical of the policy. I would like to ask these worthies - in which medium have your children and grandchildren studied or studying? Let them do some soul-searching. They want their children and grandchildren to study in English medium and come up in life. But if children from the poorer families study in English, it seems they cannot stand it."

He said his Government would also introduce "Amma vodi" scheme - granting of Rs 15,000 per annum to mothers who send their children to schools as an incentive - soon and "that scheme will be up to the plus two level and beyond that there will full reimbursement of fees for professional courses like engineering."

Further, he said, he was willing to extend "Amma vodi" scheme to madarasas also, "provided they introduce English medium right from the primary level. Please consider the matter. Proficiency in Urdu alone is not sufficient for your children to compete in the present world. Apart from traditional education, teach English and teach in English. Make Urdu compulsory subject in all classes."

Jaganmohan Reddy said his Government would introduce "Naadu-nedu" (Then and now) scheme in schools from November 14 to improve school infrastructure.

CM's defence flayed

Chief Minister’s comments defending the introduction of English medium in Government schools came in for condemnation from leaders of different political parties in the State on Monday evening.

Telugu Desam leader and son of the former Chief Minister N. Lokesh tweeted, "When the Telugu Desam was in power, we made an abortive attempt to introduce English medium in Government schools. One of the most vociferous critics of the policy was Sakshi Telugu newspaper and channel owned by the honourable Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy himself. Now, the both the Chief Minister and Sakshi have turned into aggressive advocates of the policy. They should explain it to the public. There is no point in making personal attacks."

BJP leader and head of the State unit, K. Lakshminarayana, told the media, "We are not opposed to introduction of English medium in Government schools but there should be Telugu medium as well. It should be optional, not compulsory. That is our party stand. Besides, I see a deeper design in imposing English on all section of the public, without ascertaining their opinion. Perhaps, there are religious motives as well."

Published on November 11, 2019
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