The government of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday announced the mandatory introduction of the English language to all undergraduate colleges in the province, eliminating Telugu as a language of instruction from the 2021-22 academic year, as an official state ban.
The official release said that It is important for these students to continue their undergraduate studies in English. The transition from Telugu medium to English Medium will be easier at graduation level, adding that it would also introduce English-speaking courses at various levels of undergraduate courses.
In the release, the Department of Higher Education said the decision to impose English on all public, private and public colleges was taken at a recent meeting held by Prime Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
A notice issued by the Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE) stated that all private and assisted private colleges offering Telugu medium courses should submit proposals for the conversion of all Telugu-medium courses into English between June 18 and 28.
However, colleges could continue to have Telugu as a language course in the curriculum, the notice said.
It can be said that the Jagan government had planned to make the English language compulsory in all public schools from primary school level in the 2020-21 academic year itself, but the decision was overturned by the state high court in April 2020. The matter is now pending and will be decided in the Supreme Court.
According to the official release, the government strongly feels that the introduction of English teaching at the undergraduate level will improve job prospects for graduates.
Of the more than 2.62 lakh students enrolled in degree colleges across the country, only 65,981 students are enrolled in inter-Telugu courses between 2020-21. Of them, 24,007 students selected BA, 16,925 B Com and 24,960 B Sc subjects.
The department said that now, these students have to translate into English, because that will help them a lot.
It said most B Sc students would look for job opportunities in different parts of the country and abroad. Similarly, a large number of BA and B Com Com graduates choose to enter marketing and advertising, apart from journalism and research.
Commenting on the government’s decision, Professor S Prasanna Sree, chair of the academic board at Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, said it was a bold decision to make English a compulsory degree at graduation level.
He also said that it is important to have a good education in English because it makes students competitive all over the world. At the same time, the government should not ignore the students’ indigenous language and promote it as one of the subjects.