The Andhra Pradesh government on Tuesday announced the compulsory introduction of the English medium at all the undergraduate colleges in the state, doing away with Telugu as the medium of instruction with effect from the academic year 2021-22, as per an official state release.
“It is essential that these students pursue their undergraduate courses in English medium. The transition from Telugu medium to English Medium would be easier at the graduation level,” the official release said, adding that it would also introduce spoken English courses at various levels in the undergraduate courses.
In the release, the department of higher education said the decision to make English medium mandatory at all the government, private and government-aided degree colleges was taken at a recent meeting held by chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
A notification issued by the Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE) said all private unaided and aided degrees colleges offering Telugu medium courses should submit proposals for conversion of all Telugu-medium courses into English medium between June 18 and 28.
However, the colleges can continue to have Telugu as a language course in the curriculum, the notification said.
It may be mentioned that the Jagan government planned to make English medium compulsory in all the government schools from the primary school level in the 2020-21 academic year itself, but the decision was struck down by the state high court in April 2020. The issue is now pending in the Supreme Court.
According to the official release, the government strongly feels that the introduction of the English mode of teaching at the undergraduate level would enhance the career prospects of graduates.
Out of over 2.62 lakh students who have taken admissions into degree colleges across the state, only 65,981 students are admitted into Telugu medium courses during 2020-21. Of them, 24,007 students opted for BA, 16,925 for B Com and 24,960 for B Sc courses.
“Now, these students have to convert themselves into English medium, as it would benefit them immensely,” the department said.
It said a majority of B Sc students would be looking for job opportunities in various parts of the country and also abroad. Similarly, a large number of BA and B Com graduates prefer getting into sales and marketing, apart from journalism and research.
Commenting on the state government’s decision, Professor S Prasanna Sree, chairperson of the board of studies at Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, said it was a bold decision to make English medium compulsory at the undergraduate level.
“It is essential to have higher education in English medium because it makes the students globally competitive. At the same time, the government should not ignore the native language of the students and promote it as one of the subjects,” she observed.