YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, the newly elected CM of Andhra Pradesh, is running the government on expected lines. A few months after announcing salary for Imams and pastors, the government has decided to change the ‘medium of instruction’ in government schools from Telugu to English.
The government has decided that all the government-run schools will change the medium of instruction to English from the next academic year, initially for class 1 to 8. Classes 9 and 10 will go for the same from 2021-22.
The decision has been severely criticized by former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Jana Sena president Pawan Kalyan, and many senior BJP leaders. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu also criticized the Andhra Pradesh government’s move saying, “All of us studied in Telugu medium.”
The Andhra Pradesh government’s move is against the scientific findings which were noted in New Education Policy-2019. The NEP states that “It is a scientific fact that children learn quickly if they are taught something in their mother tongue. Therefore NEP lays down great emphasis on the use of mother tongue as ‘medium of instruction’.”
According to Reddy, English medium instruction is ‘essential’ for the students, “English as a medium of instruction is very essential for students, particularly those hailing from poorer sections of the society, to be able to compete with the outside world for getting good jobs and finding better living prospects. If the government schools continue to teach them in Telugu language, the state itself will lag behind the other states in ensuring development and prosperity to its people,” said Reddy at a program.
But, the NEP draft, categorically states that instruction in the English language has no additional advantage. “Logically speaking, of course, English has no advantage over other languages in expressing thoughts; on the contrary, Indian languages have been specifically developed over centuries and generations to express thoughts in the Indian scenario, climate, and culture,” reads the draft of NEP.
The NEP draft encourages mother tongue as medium of instruction against English because, “Indian languages are very scientifically structured, and do not have unphonetic, complicated spellings of words and numerous grammatical exceptions; they also have a vast and highly sophisticated ancient, medieval, and modern literature in the Indian context; as a consequence, they have a certain home-feel and “apnaapan” quality in the Indian context, making them easier, more relatable, and more relevant for children and adults alike to learn and speak, and with which to learn and express deep concepts across school subjects.”
As per the draft, instead of changing medium of instruction, the government should promote multilingualism from foundation stage because “children learn languages most quickly between 2-8 years, and multilingualism has great cognitive benefits for students.” It ‘encourages the schools to teach three languages to students from the early stage – mother tongue, Hindi and English for non-Hindi speaking states and Hindi, English and one Indian language for Hindi speaking states.
The anti-national, anti-Hindu cabal has started supporting the move of Reddy government. Kancha Ilaiah, the person who has said all unimaginative about Hindus, Hinduism, and Hindi, has written an article in The Wire, titled “Andhra Pradesh’s New Education Policy Could Create Lasting Structural Changes.”
It is notable that Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy comes from a Christian family. His father, late Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy who was two-term chief minister of the state under Congress party also embraced very similar minority appeasement. Rama Navami, major Hindu festival was removed from the state government approved holidays and holidays for Christians was increased. As the administration of the Tirumala Temple was under state government since 1993, YSR appointed Christian people in the administration of the temple.
Jaganmohan Reddy had indicated the steps for minority appeasement even in the manifesto. In the manifesto conference of the party, Jaganmohan Reddy had stated that every pastor will get a house and the state would sponsor the marriage of Christian brides. As per an open letter to Jaganmhan Reddy published on PGurus “there is a video posted on WhatsApp where your sister is openly saying that you will be un-caged and will bring the message of Jesus.” Reddy visited Christian holy site Jerusalem with his family, that too on state expenditure.
There are strong fears that Jagan Reddy aims to westernize, and Christianize education in Andhra Pradesh.
There are over 70 lakh students in up to 10th in various government-run and private schools of Andhra Pradesh. Out of this, 62 per cent or 44 lakh students are already attending English medium schools, majority of which are run by private players. Of the 26 lakh students studying in Telugu medium schools, majority of them go to 45,000 government-run schools. If Jagan is able to implement the changes in the medium of instruction in government schools, it will be the first step towards the Christianization of the state.